P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2007
AUSTIN -- State Representative Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, and State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, today announced a historic cancer research initiative in Texas.
HB 14 and HJR 90 by Representative Keffer and its companions, SB 1292 and SJR 43 by Senator Nelson, would establish the Texas Cancer Research Institute, which will work to reduce the prevalence of cancer in Texas and distribute up to $300 million per year in cancer research grants and loans.
"Having served for four years on the Texas Cancer Council, I look forward to working with the cancer community as we take this giant leap forward in the effort to fight cancer in Texas," Senator Nelson, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, said. "This initiative will help our colleges and universities, establish Texas as a major medical research corridor and, most importantly, send a powerful message of hope to the cancer community. Help is on the way."
- Establishes the Cancer Research Institute of Texas;
- The Institute shall implement and update to the Texas Cancer Plan, the state's strategic plan to reduce the prevalence of cancer;
- It will have additional authority to distribute grants and provide loans for cancer research;
- Operations will be overseen by the Cancer Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee, which will be accountable to taxpayers and the Legislature;
- A Scientific Research Committee, with ex-officio members from cancer advocacy groups, will be formed to aid in the development of the Texas Cancer Plan, review grant and loan applications and make recommendations to the Oversight Committee regarding the awarding of the funding.
- The Texas Cancer Council currently operates on a $6.6 million biennial budget, and with eight full-time employees;
- The Institute will operate, in part, with up to $300 million per year in general obligation bonds to be leveraged through annual debt service payments;
- The Institute will also receive funding from gifts, grants, general revenue, and revenue from intellectual property agreements like patents, royalties, and licenses.
Fast Facts on Cancer Impact in Texas:
- We lose 35,000 Texans a year to cancer (accounting for 1 in 4 deaths per year);
- 85,000 new cases are diagnosed every year;
- It is the No. 1 killer of women 35-74 and strikes one out of every two men;
- Costs Texans $30 billion per year in medical costs, more than twice as much as in 1998 when the Texas Department of Health reported cancer costs at $14 billion;
- Every dollar invested in medical research has a $16 return in medical cost savings;
- The $300 million in research would return $4.8 billion in savings.