Federal Funding for Childhood Cancer Research: A Conversation with Dr. Ned Sharpless, Director of the National Cancer Institute

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 15, 2021

As the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants, and as a leader in childhood cancer advocacy, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has a deep interest in the work that the federal government is doing to advance treatments. As part of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Impact Series, on January 14, 2021, St. Baldrick’s Foundation CEO Kathleen Ruddy had a conversation with Dr. Ned Sharpless, Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), about the NCI’s broad pediatric cancer portfolio.

Greater investments in research will lead to better treatment options for kids with cancer. Thanks to the advocacy of the childhood cancer community, including the St. Baldrick’s Speak Up for Kids’ Cancer Network, the landscape for childhood cancer research at the NCI is rapidly changing. In fact, the NCI has nearly doubled its investment in childhood cancer research in recent years. The passage of the Childhood Cancer STAR Act and implementation of the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative (CCDI) have further cemented the importance of investments in childhood cancer research at the NCI.

As Dr. Sharpless noted, the STAR Act and CCDI are highly complementary and support each other through their related focuses. Through these programs, the NCI is pursuing efforts in biospecimen collection, data aggregation, and advancing clinical studies on cancer survivorship. These efforts continue to be supported by NCI’s large and diverse portfolio relating to childhood cancer – one that is continually growing.

Federal funding for pediatric cancer is one of the top priorities at the NCI, and these recent funding increases are very important to progress in this field. To learn more about the NCI’s childhood cancer portfolio, please watch this episode of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Impact Series.

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