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Brain Cancer Related FY24 Appropriations Provisions

President Biden officially signed the FY24 spending legislation into law on March 23, 2024. The agreement contains several funding wins for the Society for Neuro-Oncology. For the first time ever, Peer Reviewed Glioblastoma Research received its own line item and $10 million in funding. Additionally, the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program will continue to receive $130 million, with brain cancer (excluding glioblastoma), and pediatric brain tumors remaining eligible funding categories. Outside of the Department of Defense, the agreement urged the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Health (ARPA-H) to use its funding on research for rare cancers that have low survival rates, such as Glioblastoma, and also urged the administration to fully fund the Glioblastoma Therapeutics Network (GTN). The Childhood Cancer STAR Act received $30 million, of which $2 million is specifically marked for the enhancement of the CDC’s cancer registry efforts for children and adolescents and the Childhood Cancer Data initiative will receive $50 million, $750,000 of which will be allocated to enhancement of its Molecular Characterization Initiative.

Bill Text Available HERE

Department of Defense Explanatory Statement Available HERE

Labor-Health and Human Services Explanatory Statement Available HERE

SNO Legislative Newsletter March 2024 Available HERE  

Department of Defense

Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program
  • The agreement provides $130,000,000 for the peer-reviewed cancer research program to research cancers not addressed in the breast, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, kidney, lung, melanoma, rare cancer, and glioblastoma research programs.
  • The funds provided in the peer-reviewed cancer research program are directed to be used to conduct research in the following areas: bladder cancer; blood cancers; brain cancer ( excluding glioblastoma); colorectal cancer; endometrial cancer; esophageal cancer; germ cell cancers; liver cancer; lymphoma; mesothelioma; metastatic cancers; myeloma; neuroblastoma; pediatric brain tumors; pediatric, adolescent, and young adult cancers; sarcoma; stomach cancer; and thyroid cancer.
  • The peer-reviewed cancer research program shall be used only for the purposes listed above. The inclusion of the individual rare cancer research program shall not prohibit the peer-reviewed cancer research program from funding the above-mentioned cancers or cancer subtypes that may be rare by definition. The report directed under this heading in House Report 118-121 and Senate Report 118-81 is still required to be provided not later than 12 months after the enactment of this Act.
Peer-Reviewed Glioblastoma Research Program
  • The agreement provides $10,000,000 specifically for the peer-reviewed glioblastoma research program, establishing a separate funding line from other peer-reviewed cancer research initiatives.

Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies

  • House: Glioblastoma Treatment Research - The Committee recognizes that glioblastoma is the most common, most deadly, and most difficult form of brain cancer to treat in adults. For the thousands of Americans facing this disease, the lack of progress is a devastating reality that trails behind the impressive progress made in research of other forms of cancer. The Committee strongly urges NIH to increase and expand its research on glioblastoma. The Committee requests an update on these efforts in the fiscal year 2024 congressional justification.
  • Senate: Glioblastoma (GBM) - GBM is a cancer with less than a 5 percent 5-year relative survival rate. The average survival time from diagnosis has improved by only 6 months over the last 30 years. To date, only five drugs and one medical device have been approved by the FDA for treating GBM. With prior Congressional investment in NCI programs, glioblastomas have been molecularly characterized, resulting in a new and promising understanding of these tumors, including identifying potential clinical strategies and agents, trial designs, and imaging and pathology technologies. The Committee commends NCI for its establishment and implementation of the GBM Therapeutics Network [GTN] and requests an update on the status of the program’s implementation and progress. The GTN’s cross-cutting teams’ capabilities to conduct pre-clinical studies and early-phase clinical trials enable the careful evaluation of potential treatments, including small molecule drugs, immunotherapies, radiation, and devices. The overall goal of the GTN is advancing progress towards future cures and improved quality of life for GBM patients. The Committee urges NCI to continue to support the GTN so that this program can rapidly launch clinical trials that speed access to promising qualified treatments to patients consistent with NCI’s Glioblastoma Working Group recommendations in 2019.
National Cancer Institute
  • The agreement provides a total program level of $7,224,159 for the NCI, an increase of $120,000 over FY2023 enacted.
  • Childhood Cancer Data Initiative (CCDl) - The agreement includes no less than $50,000,000 for the CCDI, including no less than $750,000 to continue to support enhancement of the CCDI Molecular Characterization Initiative.
  • Childhood Cancer STAR Act -The agreement includes no less than $30,000,000 for continued implementation of sections of the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act (P.L. 115-180). This amount also includes $2,000,000 provided for the CDC's ongoing efforts to enhance cancer registry case capture efforts for childhood and adolescent cancers.
  • Native American Cancer Outcomes - The agreement directs NCI to coordinate with National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) as NIMHD establishes the Initiative for Improving Native American Cancer outcomes.
National Institutes of Health
  • The agreement provides a total program level of $48,581,000,000 for NIH, which includes $1,500,000,000 for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). Excluding ARPA-H, the agreement provides $47,081,000,000 for the Institutes and Centers of NIH, which includes an increase of $300,000,000 in budget authority over the fiscal year 2023 enacted level. This includes $407,000,000 from the 2181 Century Cures Act (P.L.114-255, Cures Act). Pursuant to the Cures Act, the bill includes $172,000,000 for the BRAIN Initiative and $235,000,000 for the All of Us precision medicine initiative.
Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H)
  • Rare Cancers - The agreement notes that investment in therapeutic interventions is vital to drive the development of novel treatments and personalized approaches for difficult-to-treat cancers such as glioblastoma. Accordingly, the agreement strongly urges ARP A-H to consider funding research on rare cancers that have low survival rates and for which there have been little advancement in therapeutics, including the evaluation of immune-based therapies, targeted therapies, and combination treatments. National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
  • Improving Native American Cancer Outcomes- The agreement notes that Native Americans experience overall cancer incidence and mortality rates that are strikingly higher than non-Native populations. The agreement includes $6,000,000 for the creation of an Initiative for Improving Native American Cancer Outcomes to support efforts including research, education, outreach, and clinical access related to cancer in Native American populations. The agreement further directs NIMHD to work with NCI to locate this Initiative at an NCI-designated cancer center demonstrating partnerships with Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations to improve the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers among Native Americans, particularly those living in rural communities.