News & Press

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves $50 Million for Military Cancer Research


Leading Nonprofits in Melanoma Commend Committee’s Ongoing Support and Dedication to Advancing Breakthrough Melanoma Treatments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, June 11, 2015, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year 2016 Defense Appropriations bill which includes $50 million for the Department of Defense's (DoD) Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), matching the level from fiscal year 2015. As part of this approval, ten cancers, including melanoma, are eligible to compete for funding under this program. This announcement illustrates the Committee’s dedication to ensuring U.S. service members and citizens have access to innovative treatment options against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) and the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), the leading nonprofit funders for innovative melanoma treatment research, commend the Senate Appropriation Committee’s recognition of the critical need to continue investing resources and talent into advancing medical research that will bring new and better treatment options to U.S. service members and citizens. 
“Melanoma diagnoses are increasing at epidemic rates, including among members of the military. The rising incidences of melanoma among service personnel is not surprising, given that almost 90% of melanomas are due to exposure to UV radiation,” said Tim Turnham, Executive Director of the Melanoma Research Foundation. “This melanoma research funding signals the Committee understands the threat of this disease to the military and is dedicated to investing the resources to combat it.” 
“There has been significant progress for treating advanced melanoma in the last five years, with several new treatments now available, but there are still far too many people dying from this growing public health issue,” added Margaret Anderson, Acting CEO of the Melanoma Research Alliance. “Continued support by the Senate Appropriations Committee will allow us to better understand this deadly disease and improve treatment options to benefit more patients suffering from melanoma.”
To ensure breakthrough research around melanoma treatments progresses, the MRA and the MRF will continue working with experts in the research community to ensure that newly allocated funds are being used to the best benefit for people with melanoma, with assets afforded to the most promising research initiatives. 
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About Melanoma
Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and can strike men and women of all ages, races and skin types. With a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, nearly 74,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with Stage I-IV melanoma and another 63,000 will be diagnosed with melanoma in situ – totaling nearly 137,000 total diagnoses. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old. 
The majority of melanomas occur on the skin; in fact, melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma can also occur in the eye (ocular, or uveal melanoma), in mucous membranes (mucosal melanoma), or even beneath fingernails or toenails. 
About the Melanoma Research Foundation
The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent organization devoted to melanoma. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF’s website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers. More information is available at www.melanoma.org. Find the MRF on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Melanoma Research Alliance
MRA is a public charity formed in 2007 under the auspices of the Milken Institute, with the generous founding support of Debra and Leon Black. MRA has dedicated more than $60 million to research seeking to better prevent, diagnose, and treat melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer. Due to the ongoing support of its founders, 100% of every dollar MRA raises goes to support its melanoma research program. The organization is poised to build on recent momentum in the field, accelerating the pace of scientific discovery and translation in order to eliminate suffering and death due to melanoma. MRA’s ability to fund wide-ranging research in melanoma is amplified by unique multi-faceted collaborations and partnerships with individuals, private foundations, and corporations. For more information, visit www.CureMelanoma.org.
MRA Contact:
Emily Dammeyer
(202) 336-8922 
MRF Contact:
Lauren Smith Dyer
(202) 742-5918
M: (202) 870-8827