News & Press

Senate Appropriations Committee Increases Military Cancer Research Funding to $60 Million

The Two Largest Nonprofit Funders of Melanoma Research Applaud Committee’s Ongoing Support and Dedication to Advancing Breakthrough Melanoma Research

WASHINGTON, DC — On Thursday, May 26, 2016, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill, which includes $60 million for the Department of Defense's (DoD) Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), increasing the funding level from the previous fiscal year by $10 million. The PRCRP was created in fiscal year 2009 to decrease the impact of cancer on American service members, their families and the general public by advancing research in cancer prevention, detection and treatment. As part of this approval, several cancers, including melanoma, are eligible to compete for funding under this program. 
The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) and the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), the leading nonprofit funders for innovative melanoma research in the United States, applaud the Senate Appropriation Committee for its ongoing efforts to address the growing need to expand resources and talent into advancing melanoma research that will bring new and better treatment options to American service members and the general public. 
“This significant increase in PRCRP funding illustrates the Senate Appropriations Committee’s unwavering dedication to ensuring our nation’s service members and citizens have access to innovative treatment options against melanoma,” said Tim Turnham, PhD, Executive Director of the Melanoma Research Foundation. “Each year melanoma takes the lives of more and more people, including those who serve in our military. This expanded research funding shows the Committee understands the growing threat of this disease and is committed to protecting our service members as they protect us.” 
“The substantial increase in authorization by the Senate Appropriations Committee in its 2017 Defense Appropriations bill to the PRCRP is especially good news and most welcome,” added Louise M Perkins, PhD, Chief Science Officer of the Melanoma Research Alliance. “Investments in melanoma research such as those made possible by this appropriation are leading to improvements in therapy for many cancers. Melanoma drugs are now being used for lung cancer and kidney cancer and are under evaluation in more than 30 others. Our service personnel, as well as our citizens, will benefit materially from this important funding.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee’s increase in PRCRP funding means greater resources will be invested in innovative basic, applied, and translational cancer research to support service members, their families and the American public. The total fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations budget will be negotiated with the House, which is expected to occur later this year. 
# # #
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 76,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with Stage I-IV melanoma and another 68,000 will be diagnosed with melanoma in situ – totaling nearly 144,000 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 is the largest private funder of melanoma research and has awarded more than $79 million, and leveraged an additional $81 million, to research seeking to better prevent, diagnose and treat melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Due to the ongoing support of its founders, 100 percent of every dollar MRA raises goes to support its melanoma research program. MRA’s ability to fund wide-ranging research in melanoma is amplified by unique collaborations and partnerships with individuals, private foundations and corporations. Visit www.CureMelanoma.org for more information, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.
MRA Contact:
Steven S. Anreder or Michael Wichman
(212) 532-3232
MRF Contact:
Lauren Smith Dyer
(202) 742-5918
M: (202) 870-8827