Saving the CDMRP

True innovation requires innovative approaches.

The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense drive some of our nation’s most innovative research advances in prostate and other cancers. The Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (funded jointly by the DoD CDMRP and the Prostate Cancer Foundation) has accelerated the pace of clinical trials and resulting drug approvals through 13 centers in the U.S. Just last year, three new drugs were approved, propelled by the PCCTC. Another new drug is currently pending FDA approval. That’s just one example of the important achievements of the CDMRP.  

On March 9, Senator John McCain came out in Congress against funding of the CDMRP at the Department of Defense.

“…ASPECTS OF THE DEFENSE BILLS THAT…NEED TO BE TAKEN AWAY, ELIMINATED, ARE $300 MILLION FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH. AND I’M SURE THAT THE MEDICAL RESEARCH IS IMPORTANT. BUT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NATIONAL DEFENSE… AND IT IS $50 MILLION FOR PEER-REVIEWED ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH, $150 MILLION FOR PEER REVIEWED BREAST CANCER RESEARCH, $12.8 MILLION FOR PEER REVIEWED LUNG CANCER RESEARCH, $20 MILLION FOR PEER REVIEWED OVARIAN CANCER RESEARCH, $80 MILLION FOR PEER REVIEWED PROSTATE CANCER RESEARCH. NONE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH DEFENDING THIS COUNTRY.”

You can view Senator McCain’s comments at the following link:

http://www.c-spanarchives.org/videoLibrary/clip.php?appid=599665404

In stark contrast to Senator McCain’s position, former Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Trip Casscells submitted an erudite opinion piece that ran in today’s Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/s-ward-casscells-md/fighting-cancer-is-our-co_b_837535.html

As a patient, I admit that I am slightly biased.  But, a $300 million investment in the CDMRP, a program that is putting us on the path of curing more and treating less is indeed a matter of defense. It defends the health of our nation’s veterans, their families and millions of other patients. It is also a fortification in the battle against our nation’s escalating healthcare costs. The real question that needs to be asked as we address cutting budgets is not where programs sit, but what is their track record and potential return on investment?

In an unprecedented operation, our nation once saved private Ryan. Now it’s time to save the CDMRP and thousands of American men.

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2 Responses to “Saving the CDMRP”

  1. I was in the room at the IMPaCT meeting last week when they announced what Sen. McCain said. You could feel the enthusiasm that had pervaded the meeting up to that point deflate like air escaping a leaky balloon.

    There’s nothing wrong with bias in this case. I’ve sent an email to the >100 people on my list of folks who I’ve communicated with about my cancer over the past 2 years, telling them to speak up to their Senators and Representatives at the Zero website, http://www.capwiz.com/zerocancer/issues/alert/?alertid=35483501 , reminding them this isn’t just about prostate cancer (although that’s darned important), it’s about 16 other diseases, as well.

    -Craig

  2. Thanks God McCain is not the prsedent with
    such pre-historic views!