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Hours after ZERO Prostate Cancer Summit, Congress Adds $10 Million for PCRP to FY17 Defense Appropriations Bill

CONTACT: Kirsten Spittel, 202-303-3104, kirsten@zerocancer.org

Update (03/09/2017): Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Funding Bill Passes House

Washington, D.C. – Fresh off storming Capitol Hill, prostate cancer advocates from 35 states learned of the hard-fought win as they packed their bags for home this morning – The Department of Defense’s Prostate Cancer Research Program earned a $10M increase.

The news comes as the House Appropriations Committee introduced the final version of the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill, which includes $90 million for the Department of Defense’s Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP). This is the first increase to the program in over a decade. Representative Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) spearheaded the effort to support PCRP funding, securing signatures from over 100 House and Senate members on letters to the appropriations committee.

“The power of passionate patients and families impacted by prostate cancer speaking with one voice makes all the difference,” Jamie Bearse, CEO of ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, said. “It’s a tremendous win for our advocates and we’re incredibly thankful to House Appropriations Committee members, especially Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen.”

As part of the ZERO Prostate Cancer Summit on Wednesday, more than 150 advocates from across the country met with elected officials about increasing prostate cancer research for the 2018 fiscal year budget when the news started to break about this year’s budget.

The Department of Defense’s medical research programs are a proven business model and an epicenter for groundbreaking research in many medical fields including prostate cancer. The DOD program hosts patients as part of a peer-review model in choosing which bright ideas to fund. Specifically, the Prostate Cancer Research Program has awarded grants that have led to three new treatments for the disease in recent years and a genetic diagnosis profile to determine aggressive disease.

The bill will be considered on the House floor next week. This conference report is the result of many months of negotiation between the House and Senate. Once the bill passes the House, it will move to the Senate for final votes. This would be a major victory for prostate cancer advocates: the largest increase in funding for the PCRP since 2001.

About ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer
ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer is the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer and help all who are impacted. ZERO advances research, provides support, and creates solutions to achieve health equity to meet the most critical needs of our community. From early detection to survivorship, ZERO is the premier resource for prostate cancer patients and their families to access comprehensive support, make meaningful connections, and take action to save lives. Our dedicated national and chapter staff is joined with a growing team of passionate volunteer champions to increase advocacy, awareness, and community engagement to ZERO out prostate cancer. ZERO is recognized with four out of four stars by Charity Navigator and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. ZERO spends more on programs than any other prostate cancer charity, dedicating 85 cents of every dollar to support, education, and research.