Research Funding Increase - Congressional Letter

The following is the text of the letter submitted to Congress on March 6th for an increase in funding for the Kidney Cancer Research Program pursuant to the CDMRP.


February 23, 2018

The Honorable Rodney Frelinghuysen                The Honorable Nita Lowey

Chairman                                                                  Ranking Member

House Committee on Appropriations                   House Committee on Appropriations

H-305 The Capitol                                                   H-305 The Capitol              

Washington, DC 20515                                           Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Lowey:

We are grateful for the Committee's past support for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). As you know, the CDMRP’s highly innovative research drives scientific discovery in high-impact research areas not sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies.

As you work to develop your respective versions of the fiscal year 2019 Appropriations Act, we encourage you to consider including additional funding for the Kidney Cancer Research Program (KCRP) at the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) managed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

We respectfully request that the committee provide $20 million within the CDMRP for the Kidney Cancer Research Program for fiscal year 2019.

During the ten years prior to KCRP approval, kidney cancer was a topic area under the Peer Reviewed Cancer/Medical Research Programs and had a limited number of successful grant applications. With the advent of the KCRP, the total number of kidney cancer grant applications skyrocketed six-fold in one year over previous submissions, confirming the major need and outpouring of interest in kidney cancer research and underscoring the research community’s commitment to finding a cure for this disease.

Unfortunately, there have been far more meritorious applications for the KCRP than there is funding available. We very much appreciate the Committee's past support and believe an increased investment through CDMRP would make a tremendous difference to many Americans, including our military, military families, retirees and veterans.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that $4.2 billion is spent in the United States each year on treatment of kidney cancer. Unlike the majority of cancers, the rate of people developing kidney cancer has been climbing for the last 65 years, and it is the deadliest urologic malignancy with 30 to 40 percent of patients dying of their cancer. Kidney cancer is the ninth leading cancer overall but ranks fourth in incidence among both African American and Hispanic males. In the United States, the incidence of RCC has increased since the 1970’s by an average of 3 percent per year for Caucasians and 4 percent for African Americans. In 2018, it is estimated that 65,340 new cases of kidney cancer will be diagnosed, and 14,970 people will die from this disease.

When found early, kidney cancer may be treated successfully with surgery, however nearly 35 percent of patients are diagnosed with advanced disease, where survival rates are very low. Additionally, as many as 40 percent of patients diagnosed with local disease will face recurrence later in life. No standard screening or other early detection protocol to diagnose kidney cancer at an early stage exists. Therefore, much work still needs to be done.

We encourage you to support an increase in the dedicated funding for the KCRP.


Kidney Cancer Action Network (KCAN)

American Urological Association (AUA)

Society for Urologic Oncology (SUO)

American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU)

The Judy Nicholson Kidney Cancer Foundation


Action to Cure Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer Coalition

Powerful Patients

Joey’s Wings