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Wed December 4, 2013

Head of Emory's Winship Cancer Institute: Sequestration Taking Toll

The executive director of Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, Dr. Walter Curran, says sequestration is taking its toll on the institute. Curran made the comments during a teleconference Tuesday with the American Cancer Society Action Network and other cancer center directors. The American Cancer Society Action Network is urging Congress to end sequester cuts.

Curran estimates if sequestration continues through March of next year it will have reduced money for cancer discovery at the institute by $5 million dollars. If the cuts are in place for another year, he says that would mean another $4 million dollars less. If that happens, Curran says it would create a domino effect for decades.

Walter Curran Jr., MD
Walter Curran Jr., MD
Credit Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

“That’s less discovery that could be applied to the patients and families we serve in Georgia as well as unifying discoveries that can be applied to cancer care and prevention around the world.”

Curran also expressed concern about clinical trials.

“We have a vision and a strategy to double the number of patients we offer clinical trials to in the next five years. I don’t think we can achieve that if sequestration continues.”

The comments come as Congress engages in budget talks that will determine if sequestration will continue in 2014.