Cancer funding fight shapes up on Hill

Cancer researchers and advocacy groups are fighting the Bush administration's plans to cut funding for the National Cancer Institute this year. Researchers have launched an Op-Ed campaign and cancer groups are planning an email and internet campaign to convince lawmakers to abandon the idea. The cuts themselves aren't particularly high--overall funding will drop from $4.75 billion to $4.5 billion, but critics say the move would be a symbolic defeat. Much of the money that could have gone to support research is moving to anti-terrorism programs and spending on avian flu preparedness, which has gone from virtually zero to a multi-billion dollar budget item in the course of a year. Officials at the National Cancer Institute say funding at a small number of cancer research programs could be impacted.

- read this article from the Baltimore Sun