NCI Budget Boost; Ending Surprise Medical Billing; Supreme Court ACA Hearing
The push and pull of budget negotiations makes for great headlines, but more important is the outcome when lawmakers finally arrive at a consensus. Earlier in December, the National Institutes of Health announced a $2.6 billion overall increase in funding, including a $297 million increase to the National Cancer Institutes (NCI), for fiscal year 2020.
NCI’s 2021 Budget Plan Showcases Its Promise to Provide for, Foster, and Aid Cancer Research
Once considered a death sentence, a cancer diagnosis was distressing and difficult on many levels. However, for the past 50 years the United States has been committed to finding treatments and cures for cancer; we have turned a corner, reversing devastating trends and changing the prognosis to one of survivorship for many.
Sharpless Returns to NCI; Vape Shop Exemption; Single-Payer State Health Care
Ned Sharpless, MD, an oncologist by training, has had a year of transitions. He began his Washington career as the National Cancer Institute director in 2017, but after two years at the helm, he was tapped to be acting U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner when Scott Gottlieb stepped down in March 2019. However, after heated discussions with the Senate over the perceived lack of action from FDA regarding restrictions to vaping and tobacco products, the Trump administration likely reconsidered his role at FDA and sought to find a more permanent appointee.
Lowy Appointed NCI Acting Director
Government service isn’t forever. Dynamic, transformative leaders enter and leave federally appointed positions for a variety of reasons and new appointments. Such was the case for the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) former director Norman Sharpless, MD, who was appointed to head the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2019 after Scott Gottlieb, MD, announced he would step down.
Opioid, Cancer, AIDS, and Biomedical Research Are Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request Priorities
Each year, federal agency leaders submit their budget proposals to the U.S. Congress for review. Often, the committee of jurisdiction will request formal testimony from an agency, which provides an opportunity for the department to speak directly to the elected officials who have the authority to fund programs and projects of interest.
Trump Releases 2020 Draft Presidential Budget—and Here’s What it Means for Health-Related Funding
Each spring marks a new budget season in Washington, DC. It’s a time of year that provides a glimpse into policy priorities for the fiscal year. In March 2019, the Office of Management and Budget released its 2020 funding allocations for the entire federal government. The budget was comprised after each federal department spent the preceding months looking at their previous year’s budget and outlined programmatic priorities that align with the president’s agenda.
Advocacy Community Supports NCI Fiscal Year 2020 Proposal
A billion dollars was once an astronomical amount of money to spend on one federal agency. But since the 1950s when Senator Dirksen (R-IL) was a leading voice for fiscal conservatives, the federal government’s budget has ballooned, with both political parties equally responsible for increases. During this time, great achievements have been made, and much of it in biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as what former Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) often referred to as the crown jewel of the federal government.
President Trump Enacts FY 2019 Labor/HHS Funding Package for Nursing and Cancer Research
Budget season on Capitol Hill is always a complicated time. It’s a tug-of-war between funding priorities and fiscal responsibility. Often, budget debates end up in a stalemate and the government shuts down. However, for the first time in 22 years, the president signed the fiscal year 2019 Labor Department of Health and Human Services Appropriations package before the September 30 budget deadline.
ONS Member Featured in NCI Supportive and Palliative Care Research Video
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) released a short video featuring ONS member Ann O’Mara, PhD, RN, MPH, program director in the NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention. She speaks directly about research projects focusing on supportive and palliative care for patients with cancer. O’Mara specifically highlights a recent study determining the impact of acupuncture on pain for patients with cancer.
NCI Releases Annual Strategic Plan and Budget Proposal
Every federal agency is required to submit a plan and proposal to Congress outlining its budget for the next fiscal year—or years—as well as justifications for how and why the department needs the requested allotment. In September 2018, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released its Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2020.
Further Research Can Help Nurses Balance Cardiovascular Conditions With Cancer Treatments
As the leading cause of death for adult Americans, cardiovascular disease is a complication found in many patients with cancer. Many cancer treatments have the potential to impact existing cardiac comorbidities or develop new cardiovascular conditions in patients undergoing treatment. Understanding and recognizing this issue is paramount for oncology nurses and is the focus of current research efforts impacting clinical practice.
VA and NCI Collaborate on Access to Cancer Clinical Trials
A new cross-government program is underway to improve veterans’ access to clinical cancer trials. Together with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Interagency Group to Accelerate Trials Enrollment launched in 12 VA facilities in summer 2018.
ONS Member Paice Shares Pain Management Policy Burdens With NCI
For the past two years, opioids have drawn the attention of researchers, members of Congress, the president, and the general public. With stories of drug abuse and heartbreaking tragedy, the problem with opioids in America has been dubbed an epidemic. Federal funding has accompanied the call to combat overdoses and adjust treatment plans to change the way addiction is dealt with from a medical perspective.
Using CTCAE to Report Immunotherapy Adverse Events
Although immunotherapy is changing the face of cancer care, it’s not exempt from side effects. As researchers and clinicians work to understand immune-related adverse events and how to manage them, a new challenge is emerging: reporting and grading them to get an accurate grasp on incidence rates and to standardize care to ensure better outcomes for patients. The Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) is one tool that’s helping researchers and bedside nurses do just that.
How Is CTCAE Improving Research and Patient Care?
The Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) is a list of adverse event (AE) terms most often encountered in oncology. It’s been in ongoing development since the 1980s and was previously referred to as the Common Toxicity Criteria. Through continual development and support from the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, CTCAE aids in the documentation and analysis of adverse events in oncology-related clinical trials.
Childhood Cancer Act Signed Into Law; Study Finds That Many Patients With Breast Cancer Can Skip Chemo; Plan to Lower Drug Prices Could Increase Costs for Some Patients
It’s been a long time coming, but the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act was finally signed into law on June 6 by President Trump. The act focuses on advancing pediatric cancer research and treatments along with improving screening programs and supporting patients into survivorship. As with many issues in the U.S. capital, the issue had two sides: many healthcare professionals see it as a win to support childhood cancer survivors, but it raised concerns for others about potential coverage issues.
ONS Gathers Healthcare Experts, Government Agencies for Policy Summit
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are key to improving the quality of care for their patients with cancer through advocacy—both in institutions across the country and in legislative offices on Capitol Hill. With the intent to remove barriers so NPs can help move the needle for healthcare policy, ONS’s Center for Advocacy and Health Policy held the summit, “Policy Barriers and Opportunities to NPs in Oncology,” on April 10, 2018, in Washington, DC.
Key Funding Increases for Cancer Research, Nursing, Public Health; Patients, Providers, or Politicians: Whose Choices Matter Most?; FDA Targets Flavored Tobacco Products
Racing against the clock to ensure the government stayed funded through September 2018, President Trump signed the Consolidation Appropriations Act, a $1.3 trillion spending bill that includes funding for a number of key nursing and public health initiatives. The bill, which had made its way through the House of Representatives and the Senate last week, also contains new clarifying language for the Dickey Amendment, ending a 22-year ban on government-funded gun violence research. ONS joined the Nursing Community Coalition—led in part by the efforts of the American Nurses Association—to support evidence-based inquiry into gun violence and its potential impacts on public health.
NCI Updates Cancer Trends Progress Report
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has proactively shared new information and trends with the general public. Through its Cancer Trends Progress Report, NCI provides descriptions of research and data to help review past experiences and assist the agency in planning for future research funding.
Cancer Moonshot Offers Funding Opportunities
Since its initial announcement, the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative—dubbed the Biden Cancer Initiative—has captivated the scientific, patient advocacy, and provider communities with possibilities for advancements in cancer treatments and cures. The cancer moonshot continues to maintain bipartisan support, as all involved are committed to making a decade’s worth of progress in just half the time.
NCI Advancements Are Pushing Research Forward for Patients
Former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) put partisanship aside to support federal funding for biomedical research. And, while battling cancer himself, he spoke about the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its crucial role in finding treatments and cures. “Health is our nation’s number one asset. Without your health, you can’t do anything. I believe medical research should be pursued with all possible haste to cure the diseases and maladies affecting Americans. I have said many times that the NIH is the crown jewel of the federal government—perhaps the only jewel of the federal government.”
New Director Sworn in at NCI
For the past two years, an acting director has served at the head of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). However, President Trump recently selected Norman E. Sharpless, MD, as the 15th director of the NCI. Sharpless, an oncologist with research and clinical experience, said he was humbled by the selection and is looking forward to carrying on NCI’s great mission.
Trump Cuts Obamacare Subsidies; Trump Announces Hargan as New Acting HHS Secretary; Norman Sharpless Sworn in as NCI Director
President Trump signed an executive order ending key payments to insurers selling plans in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace. The GOP has attempted to repeal and replace ACA, known as Obamacare, several times in 2017 with little success. Trump’s move is seen as the most recent attempt to dismantled Obamacare without the need for legislation. The Trump administration released a statement citing the legality of the funding as reason to withhold payments of more than $7 billion to health insurers as part of ACA’s cost-sharing reduction payments.
Governors Push Senators for 2018 ACA Funding; NCI Requests Input on Bioethics in Cancer Research; Congress Braces for Full September Agenda
Summer 2017 saw several attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), none of which were successful. Now that the dust has started to settle—and Congress is slowly moving on to other issues—many are still dealing with the uncertainty left in the wake of the nation’s healthcare debate. This includes many concerned governors who are lobbying for funds to address their states’ current needs.
How Do You Find Clinical Trials Through the NCI’s Advanced Clinical Trials Search?
As part of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative and in collaboration with the Presidential Innovation Fellows, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed and launched a new website in 2016. It provides user-friendly access to the repository of abstracts of cancer clinical trials that NCI supported.
How Are Patients Randomized to Cancer Clinical Trials?
Before any new treatment or approach is used with people in clinical trials, researchers work to understand its effects on cancer cells in the lab and in animals. Researchers design cancer clinical trials to test new ways to treat, detect, diagnose, and prevent cancer, and manage symptoms of cancer and side effects from treatment.
“Light” Cigarettes to Blame for Rise in Lung Adenocarcinoma
High-ventilation (light) cigarettes have no health benefits to smokers and have likely contributed to increased incidence of adenocarcinoma deep in the lungs, according to the results of a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
How NCI Is Training the Future Cancer Research Workforce
To ensure that future cancer research is of the highest quality, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is committed to developing the best scientific minds. NCI training and funding opportunities cover a broad spectrum of disciplines for individuals at various stages in their careers, ranging from high school and graduate students to scientists, clinicians, and healthcare professionals.
UNC’s Norman Sharpless Named NCI Director; Senators Back to Work on Healthcare Bill; National Institutes of Health Director to Remain
On June 12, 2017, President Trump named Norman Sharpless, MD, as director of National Cancer Institute (NCI). Sharpless, formerly the director of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina, is a practicing oncologist and cancer researcher. He will take over as for Doug Lowry, MD, who has been the NCI’s acting director since 2015.
Annual Cancer Report Identifies Significant Increases in Survival
As part of its Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer for 1975-2014, a group of organizations and agencies identified significant increases in cancer survival in the United States, with survival rates more than doubling for eight cancers.
Executive Order to Fight Opioid Epidemic; Trump Administration Proposes Cuts to Spending in 2017 and 2018; White House Supports April as Cancer Control Month
President Trump is a preparing a new executive order that would outline recommendations for the nation’s fight against opioid addiction. According to report released in STAT, the executive order would form a commission of four top Trump aides, including Attorney General Jeffery Sessions, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, and Defense Secretary James Mattis. The commission would be led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and would be fleshed out with another five other yet-to-be-named officials from the state government level, law enforcement, and other areas potentially impacted by the national crisis.
NCI Cancer Moonshot Funds Researchers
After the dust settled from the presidential election, Congress returned to Washington to complete some remaining legislative work before the new year. Among the newly approve legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act was passed, and it aims to have major implications for expanding oncology research in the coming months and years.
New Web Tool Seeks to Advise Cancer Survivors on Managing Health
In a joint venture between the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS), a new web tool aims to provide better understanding for cancer survivors’ treatment options and what happens to them when treatment is over. The initiative, Springboard Beyond Cancer, is meant to empower survivors by providing them when education and resources about living beyond their cancer diagnosis. Springboard Beyond Cancer aims to address the following survivorship issues for patients.