139th National Cancer Advisory Board
Dr. Leffall noted that the health consequences of tobacco use are well known; however, this knowledge has not remedied the problem of widespread tobacco use. Despite declines in smoking rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 46.2 million United States adults were current smokers in 2001, the most recent year for which numbers were available. A report issued by the Surgeon General in 2004 stated that tobacco use is responsible for 30 percent of cancer deaths, including 87 percent of lung cancer deaths. Second-hand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, increases the risk of lung and nasal sinus cancer and is associated with numerous other health conditions. Prevention campaigns aimed at altering lifestyle can achieve success as demonstrated by large-scale campaigns that promote sun screen use to prevent skin cancer. Dr. Leffall stated that the Panel believes that research into factors linking obesity, physical activity, and nutrition, as well as tobacco use and environmental tobacco smoke, to cancer risk can inform future initiatives to prevent such risks. Other 2006-2007 meeting dates and locations are: October 23 in Lexington, KY; December 5 in Portland, OR; and February 12 in Jackson, MS.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE—MS. SUSAN ERICKSON
Ms. Susan Erickson, Director, Office of Policy Analysis and Response (OPAR), OD, reviewed the status of appropriations for FY 2007. The President’s Budget was announced on February 6 and called for $28.6 B for the NIH and $4.70 B for the NCI. The House version of the bill was reported by Committee on June 13, with $28.3 B for the NIH and $4.75 B for the NCI. The Senate version was reported by Committee on July 20, with $28.6 for the NIH and $4.8 for the NCI. Ms. Erickson noted that the Appropriations Subcommittees then wrote their Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations bills (the source of NIH funding) and issued their accompanying reports to express opinions and provide guidance to agencies about programs funded by the appropriations in the bills. The House report language commended the NCI in the areas of the American-Russian Cancer Alliance (ARCA), Cancer Centers program, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and the Community Cancer Centers program. The House report also encouraged the NCI to: (1) support translational research in the area of gynecological cancers; (2) coordinate the federal effort in lung cancer with other agencies, including the CDC, CMS, FDA, and Department of Defense; (3) add a minority institution to the Cancer Centers program; and (4) provide support for a HALT-C clinical trial in lung cancer. Areas in the House report language in which specific recommendations or concerns were expressed include gynecologic cancer, the SPOREs program, and strategic plans. In the first area, the NCI was asked to include a gynecologic cancer in the pilot program for TCGA. In the second, the NCI was encouraged to fund the SPORE program at the FY 2004 level, which saw the highest level of funding to date. In the third area, all NIH ICs were asked to link strategic plans closely with specific initiatives in their Congressional justification documents for the benefit of new committee staff.
Ms. Erickson noted that the Senate report language also commended the NCI for the Cancer Centers program and TCGA. In addition, the Senate commended NCI’s support of prostate cancer research but encouraged more research on screening and early detection. In the area of antimicrobial resistance research, the NCI was commended for its collaboration with the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Also in the Senate report, the NCI was encouraged to: (1) continue leadership of the trans-NIH angiogenesis group; (2) add a minority institution to the Cancer Centers program; (3) develop a vaccine for tobacco addiction as a means to reduce lung cancer; (4) conduct more research in the area of lymphedema; (5) accelerate the translation of lymphoma research and dedicate additional funds to survivorship research; and (5) bring together nanotechnology, systems biology, and molecular imaging. In its report language, the Senate recommended that the NCI: (1) develop a strategic plan for melanoma; (2) provide more funds for the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) clinical trials; (3) fund the SPOREs at the FY 2004 level; (4) increase utilization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) mechanism; (5) develop a professional judgment budget in the area of pancreatic cancer;