Congress Clears Bill to Expand Department of Defense Research into Brain Cancer

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May 4, 2017

The Senate today cleared the final fiscal year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which provides for the inclusion of “brain cancer” among the disorders eligible for study by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP).  This action follows House passage of the bill on May 3, and the President is expected to sign the measure into law before midnight on May 5.

“Today’s action represents a huge accomplishment and the culmination of a 15-month advocacy effort,” stated Elizabeth Wilson, President and CEO of the ABTA.  “We are grateful to our Congressional champions who made this happen – particularly Congressman Mike Quigley and Senator Ed Markey– and to our advocates who on several occasions this year and last weighed in with their elected officials.”

The final fiscal year 2017 spending bill also increases funding for the PRCRP from $50 million to $60 million, expanding the amount of competitive grant funding available to the brain cancer and other cancer research communities.  ABTA helped to forge a coalition of other cancer patient advocacy groups to advocate for this increased investment.

In addition, the bill includes a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, including a $175 million increase for the National Cancer Institute.  This increase comes in addition to $300 million in fiscal year 2017 funding approved last December for the Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

“May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with these two major achievements for brain cancer research,” stated Wilson.  “We are fortunate that during these challenging fiscal times, Congress continues to recognize the value of medical research and the importance of investing toward a cure for brain and other cancers.”

To learn more about ABTA's advocacy efforts, visit


Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first national advocacy organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing education and information on all tumor types and for all age groups. For more information visit or call 800-886-ABTA (2282).