Although NCI directs a large and comprehensive program of cancer research within its portfolio and collaborates with other groups on research or cosponsors other cancer research at other ICDs, the committee finds that there is little evidence of a strategic plan for cancer research relevant to ethnic minority and medically underserved populations at NIH coordinated through NCI or any other central mechanism, as noted below.
This section describes the range of ongoing cancer-related research and programs at NCI and other ICDs, summarizes cancer-related research programs at NCI and other ICDs that are relevant to ethnic minority and medically underserved populations, and reviews the funding for these programs. Particular emphasis is placed on the programs and functions of NCI, given its stated role in coordinating cancer-related research at NIH.
Over the past decade, NIH and NCI have enjoyed significant increases in congressional appropriations, from periods of little to no growth in the early 1980s to steady increases in the mid-1990s (Figure 3-1). NCI experienced a slight decline in its budget from 1980 ($1 billion) to 1983 ($987.6 million), but by 1986 the Institute's budget reached $1.26 billion, and it had reached nearly $1.6 billion by the end of the decade (National Cancer Institute, 1998e). Annually, nearly 80 percent of the institute's budget is dedicated to research, whereas approximately 10 percent of the budget is allocated toward both resource development and cancer prevention and control activities. In fiscal year (FY) 1997, $1.411 billion was allocated for research grants, including $577 million for investigator-initiated grants (R01 grants) and $132 million for cancer center grants. More than $412