American Brain Tumor Association Commends the Passage of Amendment Protecting Medical Research at the Department of Defense

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June 7, 2016

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Senate Durbin amendment passed 66-32 votes to help protect medical research at @DeptofDefense

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) applauds today’s passage of the Durbin Amendment (S.A. 4369) to protect medical research administered by the Department of Defense (DoD). The Durbin Amendment to S. 2943, the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed in the Senate by a vote of 66-32.

“Today’s action by the Senate is an important recognition of the value of medical research at the Department of Defense and its application to our U.S. military, veterans, military families and the general population,” said Elizabeth Wilson, president and CEO, American Brain Tumor Association. “Passage of this amendment protects opportunities for our research community at DoD to develop new treatments and cures for brain tumors.”

The ABTA recently joined the Defense Health Research Consortium, a coalition of cancer and rare disease patient advocacy organizations, professional medical societies and veterans organizations who advocate for medical research at DoD. The ABTA worked with other consortium members to spearhead a letter campaign signed by 143 patient advocacy groups, medical societies, veterans groups, research advocacy organizations and universities in opposition to Sections 756 and 898. An updated version of this letter was transmitted prior to the vote today to all 100 U.S. Senators.

“We are proud to work with breast, prostate, ovarian and other cancer groups across the country, as well as all who represent Americans impacted by the disorders studied by the DoD,” said Wilson. “We will continue to help lead this effort on behalf of those diagnosed with brain tumors to expand and protect research at DoD and other federal agencies.”

The bipartisan amendment offered by U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and 38 of his Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate nullifies Sections 756 and 898 of S. 2943. These sections of the bill would have prohibited funding for medical research at DoD unless such research meets certain narrowly defined criteria. Section 756 would have jeopardized funding for research activities that have broader relevance to the U.S. military, including the health and well-being of military families and veterans, and the efficiency of the military health care system. Section 898 would have placed unnecessary and burdensome acquisition compliance and auditing requirements on programs that are typically applied only to larger defense contracts.


The American Brain Tumor Association was the first and is the only national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing support and education programs for all tumor types and all age groups.