Brain Tumor Community Joins Together to Speak Out Against Sequestration

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Potential cuts to government-funded scientific research could have significant impact on a disease community with limited therapeutic options

National Brain Tumor Society led a group of 21 leading organizations dedicated to the brain tumor community in sending a strong warning to Congress about the potential impact of cuts to government-funded biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Together, the group represents the hundreds of thousands of brain tumor patients in America, as well as their caregivers, family, friends, and the researchers dedicated to finding a cure for this often-deadly disease. A letter including all 21 organization’s signatures was sent to Congressional leaders on February 26.

Cuts to NIH, the largest funder of brain tumor research in the United States, couldn’t come at a worse time for the brain tumor community, which has only seen four (4) FDA approved treatments in the past three decades.

Recent government-funded projects like The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) have produced scientific breakthroughs in brain tumor research that are poised to lead to new, much needed therapeutic candidates for the patient community. But more research is needed to move potential therapies through the drug discovery pipeline. However, it is expected that if sequestration were to take hold it would trigger deep cuts to NIH, and thus the amount of dollars that go to critical brain tumor research.

“While Congress and the President continue to debate how to solve the nation’s budget problem, the brain tumor community’s position is clear: we need cures, not cuts,” said N. Paul TonThat, Executive Director, National Brain Tumor Society. “It’s difficult to comprehend that in a time when Congress’ investments in brain tumor research through NIH were beginning to show real promise, we would undermine the progress through sequestration and budget cuts.”

As the largest, and only brain tumor organization with both a Chief Scientific Officer and a Director of Public Policy, National Brain Tumor Society continues to partner with a wide array of organizations to affect change for the brain tumor community through both public policy and research initiatives.

More than 688,000 Americans are currently living with a primary brain tumor, and an estimated 13,700 people with die because of the disease this year. Brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer-related death in children under age 20, and third leading among young adults age 20-39. Only one out of three adults diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor today will be alive in five years. More so than any other cancer, a brain tumor can have life-altering psychological, cognitive, behavioral, and physical effects. Yet, with only four FDA-approved therapies in the past 30 years, treatment options are limited and often come with adverse side effects. There is no cure.

National Brain Tumor Society urges anyone who cares about fighting brain tumors to let Congress know that NIH funding is absolutely essential. National Brain Tumor Society’s website provides a quick and easy communication tool anyone can use in one (1) minute to communicate to Congress:

About National Brain Tumor Society
National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the brain tumor community in the United States. We are fiercely committed to finding better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for people living with a brain tumor today and those who will be diagnosed tomorrow. This means aggressively driving strategic research and advocating for public policies, which meet the critical needs of this community. To learn more visit

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Tom Halkin
National Brain Tumor Society
(617) 393-2849
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