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Call to Action! Lung Cancer Funding in danger!


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The Tobacco Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) is a critical component in securing funding for lung cancer research. Established by a mandate of California voters under Proposition 99 and administered through the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), it includes lung cancer among its top research priorities. TRDRP now faces a massive reorganization which may threaten its integrity.

In a cost-cutting move, the UCOP is proposing significant changes including centralization of the grant review process of several programs into a single entity. This threatens to dilute the expertise needed for setting up a fair and scientifically rigorous peer review process. Evaluation, planning and dissemination, all components of an ethical grant program, are also in jeopardy. It is alarming to note that the entire process of determining the new structure has taken place without any attempt to inform or solicit input from key stakeholders – including the lung cancer community.

Grants targeted specifically at lung cancer pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment have received funding from the TRDRP of approximately $2 million per year. As a chronically and severely under funded and stigmatized disease, it is imperative that such resources be managed by those who understand that the approach to lung cancer be three-pronged – prevention, early detection and improved treatment.

Take action now to put the brakes on!

Lung Cancer Alliance calls on the UCOP to delay further action in restructuring this program until all stakeholders have been informed and given the opportunity to provide input regarding the proposed changes. Send a letter to the Chairman of the UC Regents and tell him that the lung cancer community must have a voice in this matter.

Email Chairman Richard Blum at:


Copy these UC administrators:







A sample letter is below for your use as desired:

Richard C. Blum, Chairman

University of California Regents

1111 Franklin Street, 12th floor

Oakland, CA 94607

Dear Mr. Blum:

Please halt the imminent proposed restructuring of the TRDRP. This massive reorganization has the potential to inflict devastating damage to the already severely under funded and inadequate lung cancer research field. The potential outcome in human suffering and lives is staggering.

The proposed changes were designed through a process which completely excluded the knowledge and experience of key stakeholders, thus denying them any opportunity to provide input on potential impacts. As an institution renowned for its research, does that sound like good science on which to base decisions affecting life and death?

Lung cancer is responsible for nearly one third of all cancer deaths. Even the National Cancer Institute has acknowledged its gross lack of funding given its massive public health impact. With such scarce resources, it is critical that every dollar for research be directed to projects offering the very best science. That can only be determined by authorities immersed in the lung cancer field with a thorough understanding of the three-pronged approach required to conquer this disease – prevention, early detection and improved treatment.

We respectfully request that you instruct the UCOP to stop the reorganization until a process is implemented to ensure that all key stakeholders are informed and have an opportunity to have input on any proposed changes. In the interim, please do all within your power to see that TRDRP continues to function fully with its knowledgeable, dedicated staff.


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