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Letter to Rodney Frelinghuysen, Chairman, and Peter Visclosky, Ranking Member, of the House Subcommittee on Defense of the Appropriations Committee - Prostate Cancer

Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Visclosky,

This year, more than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and it is estimated that 29,480 men will die from this disease. As you consider the FY2015 Defense Appropriations bill, we respectfully request $80 million for the Department of Defense (DOD) Peer-Reviewed Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP).

Since 1996, the Committee has been instrumental in advancing prostate cancer research by funding the DOD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for prostate cancer. The DOD has a long history of conducting medical research and has demonstrated an ability to be flexible and quickly adjust responses to changing needs and priorities. The PCRP is the gold standard in prostate cancer research and an integral warrior in the national fight against prostate cancer.

Federal funding for prostate cancer research has accounted for, on average, only 5 percent of our nation's annual cancer research budget even though it is responsible for about 15 percent of all cancer cases and about 15 percent of cancer deaths in men. The federal effort falls short of what is needed to save American lives.

We request a fiscal year 2015 appropriation of $80 million for the Peer-Reviewed Prostate Cancer Research Program at DOD. Among other initiatives, funding for the PCRP is used to:

1. Identify new prostate cancer specific biomarkers to radically improve early diagnosis of prostate cancer;
2. Fast forward discovery and development of new targeted medicines, vaccines and antibodies against the distinguishable types of prostate cancer;
3. Increase access of US men to innovative new experimental treatments through early-phase clinical trials;
4. Rapidly translate laboratory-based discoveries into near-term, transformative, improvements for all prostate cancer patients; and
5. Support resources that enable scientists to study the most dangerous types of prostate cancer.

Please join us in making prostate cancer research, awareness and early detection a national health care priority by ensuring that adequate resources are available for the DOD PCRP. We recognize the difficult task ahead of your subcommittee in setting priorities among the many needs of our nation, but we sincerely appreciate your attention to this request.

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