Can Texas Cure Cancer?

logo_285x133_2The state of Texas is investing $3 billion over the next 10 years in a quest to find a cure for cancer, possibly making the state the gatekeeper of the second largest pool of cancer-related financial resources in the country.  Only the National Cancer Institute’s pockets are deeper.

In 2007, the state created the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas through an ambitious bond measure approved by voters.  Lance Armstrong, champion cyclist and cancer survivor, was a spokesman for the initiative; Governor Rick Perry said he looked forward to the day “we talk about cancer the same way we talk about polio.”

Texas is now actively recruiting scientists to come to the state to take advantage of the money.  The Institute plans to fund drug development, tackle high-risk research, and create the first statewide clinical trial network.  The last item would give patients expanded access to experimental drugs.  Additionally, Texas is handing out cancer research money at a time when funds nationwide have been drying up.  The National Cancer Institute gave out $3.14 billion in extramural grants in 2008, slightly below the $3.25 billion it distributed in 2005.

Texas has long been a leader in the battle against cancer.  The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is one of the most respected cancer research centers in the United States.  The state also is home to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure headquarters and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply