| February 05, 2019 10:03 PM
President Trump during his State of the Union address Tuesday called for a $500 million increase in funding for medical research on childhood cancer over a decade, a cause he said “all Americans can get behind.”
Trump plans to call for the increase in spending as part of his budget, which presidents typically release in February. The National Institutes of Health, which funds medical research, will spend an estimated $462 million on childhood cancer in 2019.
The NIH’s National Cancer Institute estimates that 11,060 children will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019, and that 1,190 will die. Children receive similar treatment as adults, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplants.
One of the president’s guests at the Capitol, who sat with first lady Melania Trump, was cancer survivor Grace Eline. The 10-year-old girl had raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and learned last year that she had brain cancer. She is in remission after receiving radiation treatment.
“You are a great inspiration to everyone in this room,” Trump told Eline.
Former presidents have called for progress on cancer research. During the 2016 State of the Union, former President Barack Obama announced a “moonshot” to cure cancer. The goal was to double the rate of progress against cancer, making progress in five years that would otherwise have taken 10. Obama tapped former Vice President Joe Biden to lead the effort.