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Funds and Sharing

In his State of the Union address earlier this month, US President Donald Trump pledged $500 million over 10 years to fund the development of new treatments for childhood cancers, and ScienceInsider reports that this program would focus in part on increased sharing of patient data.

"Many childhood cancers have not seen new therapies in decades," Trump said. "My budget will ask the Congress for $500 million over the next 10 years to fund this critical life-saving research."

ScienceInsider reports this announcement during the State of the Union took officials at the National Cancer Institute by surprise, but it adds that NCI Director Ned Sharpless has since said that data sharing will be a main part of the program. Such funds "would afford a unique opportunity to leverage the power of existing data and develop new knowledge that will drive discovery and development of new approaches to treat childhood cancers," an NCI spokesperson tells ScienceInsider.

It notes, though, that the Trump Administration also plans to call for a 5 percent cut to all non-defense spending, leading some to worry that this emphasis on pediatric cancers may mean less funding for other areas of research.