It’s time to badger Congress — yet again, pretty please!

Many readers will already have seen the report we posted about Senator McCain’s desire to eliminate the Prostate Cancer Research Program within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) — one of the most successful prostate cancer research initiatives. Now you can work with the rest of the advocacy community to counter this.

A coalition of advocates and advocacy groups is already working together because we are all concerned about funding the CDMRP over the next 5 years or so.  On Monday, this coalition agreed that we can no longer lay low.

The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink joins with that coalition to ask all its American readers to call and send letters to Congress in support of the CDMRP.  If you have already done so — thank you! If you haven’t, it is now really easy to send such letters or e-mails to your House representative and your two senators by using the Capwiz system on the ZERO web site. You can customize the letters there to make your own specific plea for why the Prostate Cancer Research Program and CDMRP need to be funded.

We need to send hundreds of letters and e-mails to Congress over the next couple of weeks, so don’t hold back. Tell your representatives that this initiative is not to be cut. It has been at the very heart of many of the major advances that we have reported here on The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink over the past 3 years! The easiest way to do this is by using the e-mail system built into the CapWiz program on the ZERO web site.

3 Responses

  1. It is so ironic that Senator McCain is opposing the CDMRP because it fits his personality so closely. Think about it: the essence of CDMRP research is “high risk/high reward” research that is designed to bypass and leap over conventional wisdom. Isn’t that practically a resume for Senator McCain, not to mention the survivor part? I dearly hope that some of his Arizona constituents will lean on him hard to change his position. I have already sent my own letter, left a call and requested to talk to him or his staff, but as a Virginia resident, I expect my input to fall on deaf ears.

    We need to emphasize that keeping this vital research in the DoD is critical. That is so because (1) the DoD is outside of the mainstream of conventional Federal medical research performed by the NIH, NCI and CDC, freeing the DoD from the blinders of conventional wisdom, and (2) the DoD already has in place expert medical talent.

    It helps that the CDMRP’s Prostate Cancer Research Program just concluded its conference, entitled “Innovative Minds in Prostate Cancer Today” (IMPaCT). The wonderful abstracts from the conference are publicly available online. Among other accomplishments, one drug stemming from the PCRP has already been FDA approved (denosumab), another, abiraterone, is considered a sure bet for FDA approval in coming months, and at least a half dozen other drugs from the program are in Phase III trials or beyond, moving toward FDA approval. Moreover, the PCRP’s (and the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s) Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium has been working hard for us, speeding the trial of abiraterone in a stunningly short 5 years.

    While I am a big fan of a strong military to deal with foreign threats, I am very mindful that the chances of death or severe burden from cancer far exceed the chances of death due to terrorism or foreign aggression. We need to remember that 9/11 involved the deaths of several thousand precious fellow countrymen, with the Iraq and Afghan wars costing several thousand more deaths. But those figures pale in comparison to the more than half million Americans who die of cancer EACH YEAR, with about 32,000 expected just from prostate cancer in the next year. While national security, which ultimately boils down to personal security of our citizens deserves an appropriate portion of our resources, surely the far greater threat posed by cancer to the personal security of our citizens also deserves appropriate Federal support!

  2. As a prostate cancer survivor (so far) I’m all for more research and enhanced prostate cancer awareness.

    HOWEVER – I am just another member of a special interest group that believes my cause is better than all the rest.

    Spending must be cut across the board in order to kill the cancerous growth of spending that is killing ALL of U.S.

  3. Hi Carl,

    I’m responding to your post of 3/16/2011, at 11:17 in which you concluded that “Spending must be cut across the board in order to kill the cancerous growth of spending that is killing ALL of U.S.”

    I agree that spending must be cut sharply, but I deplore that meat ax “across the board” approach that sweeps out the vital with the worthless or no longer affordable. If it is so vital to cut to a certain dollar level, which I doubt, preferring discriminating and mindful cuts, then we can and should make the strong argument that military cuts, or cuts in entitlements need to come before cuts in cancer research.

    We can also make a strong argument that prostate cancer research is cost effective. For instance, a number of papers at the conference dealt with discriminating those cases that needed treatment from those that did not, and how to effectively monitor those deferring therapy to ensure their well being. Success in that area will go a long way toward boosting the now low percentage of eligible men who choose active surveillance.

    Despite the sky high cost of Provenge, launched recently, we can also make a strong case that the costs of prostate cancer treatment are falling sharply, with that plunge likely to continue as more drugs go generic, such as Lupron in 2013. But this is another story for another time.

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