National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Everyone Has a Role in NCI’s National Cancer Plan
Recharting the trajectory of cancer in the United States requires involvement from everyone—government and private investors, researchers, clinicians, and people with cancer, their caregivers, and advocates, the National Cancer Institute said in April 2023 as it launched the National Cancer Plan. The plan supports the Cancer Moonshot initiative and “aligns broad societal engagement and focuses on critical needs to end cancer as we know it.”
Intense, Immediate Research Action in Six Key Areas Can Reduce Cancer’s Impact on All Population Segments, DCCPS Director Says
Marking her first year at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Katrina Goddard, PhD, director of the NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, outlined a foundation of future research for DCCPS, priority research areas, and the impact of research on diverse populations in a December 2022 interview.
Cancer Hits Home for NCI Director Bertagnolli
In a December 2022 statement, Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, National Cancer Institute director, announced that she was diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer and that her prognosis is favorable. She said she is enrolled in a clinical trial centered around her diagnosis to contribute to the cancer knowledge base and advance care.
Annual Report to the Nation Says Cancer Deaths Continue Downward Trend
Overall cancer death rates continued to decline from 2015–2019 among men, women, children, adolescents, and young adults in every major racial and ethnic group, according to the October 2022 Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer. The National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society, and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries jointly issue the report each year to monitor cancer trends across society.
Modernized Treatment Approaches for Childhood Cancers Are a Result of COG Clinical Trials
Significant progress has been made with childhood cancer, especially with the efforts of Children's Oncology Group (COG), but some areas still need attention, Doug Hawkins, MD, COG chair, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded network of researchers and hospitals, explained in a September 2022 interview with NCI.
NCI Releases Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for 2024
Along with outlining monetary spending for the upcoming years, the National Cancer Institute’s 2024 annual plan and budget proposal highlights areas of opportunity to advance cancer research, Douglas R. Lowy, MD, who was NCI acting director at the time, said in a September 2022 NCI’s director message.
Monica Bertagnolli Delivers First NCI Director’s Report, Outlines Principles to Evolve Cancer Research
In her first report as National Cancer Institute director, Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, laid out her eight core principles to guide the agency’s work in reformulating clinical trials and strengthening cancer research during the Clinical Trials Advisory Committee meeting in November 2022.
President Biden Announces Next National Cancer Institute Director
Monica Bertagnolli, MD, will serve as the next—and first woman—director of the National Cancer Institute. President Joe Biden announced his intent to make the appointment in August 2022.
NCI Director Steps Down After Successful Tenure
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Norman Sharpless, MD, announced his decision to step down as the institute’s director in April 2022, a position he has held since 2017. According to NCI, the institute’s principal deputy director, Douglas R. Lowy, MD, will serve as acting director at the end of the month.
NCI Office of Cancer Survivorship Funded More Than $100 Million for Survivorship Research in 2020
More than 150 Office of Cancer Survivorship grants totaling nearly $112 million funded research on cancer survivorship in 2020, including “resources for implementation of the STAR Act and additional resources provided through legislation such as the 21st Century Cures Act, which authorized funding for the Cancer Moonshot,” according to the office’s 25th anniversary report.
President Biden Reignites Cancer Moonshot Initiative
The explosion of immunotherapy in your practice? You can thank the Cancer Moonshot. New discoveries in oncodrivers for childhood cancers? Thank the Moonshot again. You can also thank it for better cancer prevention and screening strategies, attention to patient-centered care, and interprofessional collaboration among oncology scientists and clinicians.
NCI Distinguished Scholar Urges Tackling Disparities Directly
America must make a drastic change in its approach to addressing health disparities for it to ensure adequate healthcare delivery, according to the National Cancer Institute’s Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences Distinguished Scholars October 2021 speaker Robert Winn, MD.
President and First Lady Biden Recognize National Cancer Act’s 50th Anniversary
On December 23, 1971, the National Cancer Act was signed into law by Former President Richard Nixon, granting authority to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) director to develop a national cancer program. In December 2021, First Lady Jill Biden celebrated the legislation’s 50th anniversary in an NCI video, in which she recognized the importance of the act, cancer advocacy, and the disease’s personal impact on her family.
Katrina Goddard Appointed as Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences Director
Katrina A.B. Goddard, PhD, a genetic epidemiologist who worked on 25 federally funded research studies, is the director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) as of October 2021, where she oversees a range of cancer-related research.
NCI Proposes Budget for Fiscal Year 2023
Driving “cancer research that spans the continuum from basic science to survivorship” and taking advantage of the “incredible opportunity to greatly reduce the impact of cancer on people’s lives and end cancer as we know it” takes an investment, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) acknowledged in its proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year. However, fully funding “cutting-edge research, infrastructure, and training needed to harness these opportunities allows researchers better understand how to prevent and treat cancer.”
NCI Recognizes Three ONS Members as Champions and Changemakers
Where there’s cancer, there are oncology nurses. It’s been that way even before 1971, when President Richard Nixon established and signed into law the National Cancer Act to fight the “war on cancer,” which had just become the second leading cause of death in the United States. Born from the act, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021. As part of the celebration, it named three oncology nurses and ONS members on its champions and changemakers list—Betty Ferrell, PhD, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN, Deborah Watkins Bruner, RN, PhD, FAAN, and Christine Miaskowski, RN, PhD, FAAN—in recognition of their contributions to cancer prevention, early detection, and symptom science.
National Cancer Act Turns 50
Fifty years ago, President Richard Nixon delivered his third State of the Union address to the U.S. Congress, boldly outlining audacious goals with major federal funding attached. Seeking $100 million for what he deemed “the war on cancer,” Nixon pledged his commitment to invest federal resources in the fight against cancer.
NCI Uses Federal Funds to Increase Grant Paylines for Emerging Nurse Researchers
When the U.S. Congress passed the FY 2021 funding bill at the end of 2020, it recommitted its dedication to cancer research by increasing the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) budget by $120 million.
First Lady Jill Biden Celebrates World Cancer Day
In honor of World Cancer Day on February 4, 2021, First Lady Jill Biden, EdD, took a virtual tour of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH's) National Cancer Institute (NCI) and met with NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, and NCI Director Ned Sharpless, MD, to discuss advancements in cancer research, the steady decline in cancer mortality, and cancer-related legislation, among other topics.
NCI Links Persistent Poverty to Increased Cancer Mortality
Where a person lives has the biggest impact on their healthcare accessibility and affordability. In a new study, researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) found strong correlation between persistent poverty and cancer mortality in the United States, NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.
U.S. Still Has Declining Cancer Death Rates, Latest National Report Says
Overall cancer death rates fell 1.5% on average per year from 2001–2017 in the United States for all cancer sites combined, according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Cancer Institute (NCI), American Cancer Society, and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.
Genomic Data Changes Care for Cancer Survivors
Further understanding of the human genome and the proliferation of genetic data has spurred significant advancement in the understanding of the way cancer impacts individuals. To share the crucial work in genetics, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), led by the National Institute for Cancer (NCI), has compiled survivor stories from patients who have benefited from cutting-edge genomic technology. Their stories illustrate and contribute to the ongoing successes brought on by NIH’s genomic efforts.
Title VIII Support; Trump's 2021 Federal Budget; Ineffective E-Cigarette Ban
When oncology nurses speak, people listen. An op-ed column published February 24, 2020, written by ONS member Janice Phillips, PhD, RN, FAAN, outlined the potential harm to the future of health care and the nursing profession if the Trump administration’s budget cuts are approved. As an oncology nurse, Phillips’ insights have made a difference in Washington before, and she explained that the budget cuts could target key funding for items like nursing development and workforce programs.
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 as of June 2019.
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.