WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 20, 2019 – Later today, President Trump is expected to sign into law a spending package that funds the government for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and includes a significant increase in funding for the Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD). The legislation funds OCRP at $35 million for FY2020, a 75 percent increase over FY2019 and the first boost the program has received in nearly a decade.
The ovarian cancer community applauds congressional appropriators for this much needed funding boost. In particular, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) displayed unwavering commitment and leadership in ensuring final FY2020 appropriations provided for the increase. Additionally, the Chairs and Ranking members of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in both chambers, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Representative Peter Visclosky (D-IN) and Representative Kay Granger (R-TX) along with House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) deserve credit for their hard work on behalf of women – including women who serve in our military –in providing this level of funding for FY2020.
OCRP is the only dedicated source of federal funding for ovarian cancer research and a lifeline for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Established in 1997 as part of the DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, OCRP has a far- and wide-reaching impact. Since inception, the program has funded 346 research awards, resulting in more than 1,370 peer-reviewed publications, over 100 patent applications, and high-impact advances in the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of ovarian cancer.
“As an ovarian cancer survivor, fighting to increase the funding for Ovarian Cancer Research Program is personal,” said Congresswoman DeLauro, Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. “Early detection is critical to surviving this deadly disease. Yet, for far too many women it is discovered too late. That is why funding for OCRP is so important, as it helps women and their doctors to find this cancer early and treat it effectively. This funding will help save the lives of women across the country from all walks of life—including in the military—and I am proud to have secured this historic increase.”
“Research is the only way to accelerate progress toward ensuring long-term survival for all women with ovarian cancer,” said Audra Moran, President and CEO of Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA) “and despite recent advancements, ovarian cancer mortality rates have not significantly improved in decades. OCRA is doing our part as the largest private funder of ovarian cancer, and is elated to see Congress expand its investment in OCRP in FY2020. We will continue working to expand investments in ovarian cancer research from every possible source.”
“The Society of Gynecologic Oncology community is deeply grateful to Representative DeLauro, Senator Menendez, the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and multiple Members of Congress for the leadership and support,” said SGO President Warner K. Huh, MD. “This research program is very much the centerpiece and hope for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This increase in funding will only further build upon the marked achievements of this program over the last 20+ years and undoubtedly improve the outcome and quality of life of individuals diagnosed with ovarian cancer.”