NCI Colorectal Cancer Research Funding

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Credit: NCI

Colorectal cancer has the third highest incidence rate among all populations of men and women in the United States and has the second highest incidence rate among Hispanic men and black, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Hispanic women. According to the 2009 Annual Report to the Nation, however, colorectal cancer death rates have declined since 1984, with an accelerated rate of decline since 2001 for women and 2002 for men. Since 1997, rates of newly diagnosed cases have also decreased, most rapidly among men and women over age 65, but rates of new cases increased most rapidly in people under age 50.

In the 2009 Annual Report to the Nation, researchers used microsimulation modeling to evaluate the historical impact of screening, risk factors, and treatments and to project trends for future colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. Screening, reduction of some risk factors, such as an improved diet with less fat and more fiber, and improved treatments have had demonstrable impacts on the colorectal cancer death rate decline.

NCI Funding

NCI funding for colorectal cancer research has increased from $103.2 million in fiscal year (FY) 1997 to $273.7 million in FY 2008. Funding for colorectal cancer in FY 2009 is estimated at $282.5 million and for FY 2010 is estimated at $290.9 million. The largest percentage increase in funding was between FY 1999 and FY 2003, when colorectal cancer funding increased by 71 percent, from $152.9 million to $261.6 million. Between FY 2004 and FY 2008, NCI’s funding for colorectal cancer research has increased 4 percent, from $262 million to $273.7 million.  Compared to funding for other types of cancer, colorectal cancer ranks third in NCI research dollars.  For additional information on NCI research funding, see the NCI Fact Book collection.

Alt text: NCI Colorectal Cancer Research Funding Fiscal Years 1997 through 2008 (dollars in millions): 1997, $103.2; 1998, $121.0; 1999, $152.9; 2000, $175.8; 2001, $207.4; 2002, $245.0; 2003, $261.6; 2004, $262.0; 2005, $253.1; 2006, $244.1; 2007, $258.4; 2008, $273.7.

Credit: NCI

The 71-percent increase in colorectal cancer research funding between fiscal years 1999 and 2003 resulted largely from efforts by Congress to double the appropriations to the National Institutes of Health in a five-year period. Through substantial annual increases, NCI’s budget increased from $2.9 billion in FY 1999 to $4.5 billion in FY 2003, the last year of the so-called doubling. During the same period, the NIH budget grew from $15.6 billion in FY 1999 to $27 billion in FY 2003.

Data in this chart is explained in the last paragraph of the article.

Credit: NCI

In contrast to the doubling period, NCI has received small increases in its budget since FY 2004, which has impacted cancer research funding.  In FY 2004, NCI’s budget was $4.74 billion, a 3.3 percent increase over FY 2003. In FY 2005, the budget was $4.82 billion, a 1.8 percent increase, but for FY 2006 the budget decreased 0.6 percent to $4.79 billion and remained at $4.79 billion in FY 2007. The FY 2008 appropriation of $4.83 billion reflects a 0.7 percent increase over the FY 2007 level and compares with NCI’s FY 2005 budget.

Additional Resources

NCI Annual Fact Book

NCI Congressional Justification

NCI Professional Judgment Budget Request

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