From the Desk Of… Laura Misuk

2019 – OCTOBER:
From the Desk Of…
Laura Misuk, MPA, Director of Grants & Advocacy

In 2007, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment creating and funding the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). It is the largest state-based cancer research and prevention effort in the United States. The approval authorized the state of Texas to issue $3 billion in bonds specifically intended to do two things: expedite innovation in cancer research and product development, and create access to prevention programs in all 254 counties in Texas.

All CPRIT-funded research is conducted in Texas by Texas-based scientists. Since 2010, CPRIT has awarded 1,447 grants; awardees include 108 academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and private companies in virtually all regions of the state. While the work generated by these funds is notable in a myriad of ways, the outcome of one in particular gained international recognition. The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to a CPRIT-funded researcher: Dr. Jim Allison, who launched an effective new way to attack cancer by treating the immune system, rather than the tumor. Allison is the first M.D. Anderson (Houston) scientist to receive this award. Without CPRIT funding, the progress of his research would have surely taken a vastly different course and, quite likely, timeline.

CPRIT funds a complex network of research, product development, and prevention initiatives that have measurable impact. However, the existing government funding for CPRIT is at the end of its cycle. If the work is to continue, new funding must be approved and appropriated by the state legislature.

Earlier in 2019 a team from Cancer Care Services joined the American Cancer Society and other advocates in person at the Capitol in Austin to speak directly with lawmakers and their staff, urging them to put reauthorization of CPRIT funding on the November 2019 ballot. Fortunately, the legislation to put CPRIT on the ballot passed overwhelmingly.

Now, it is up to the voters of Texas to ensure that this significant work continues by approving continued funding for CPRIT as specified in Proposition 6. (Read more about it at: https://ballotpedia.org/Texas_Proposition_6,_Cancer_Prevention_and_Research_Institute_Bonds_Amendment_(2019) ).

Cancer Care Services urges you to vote yes on this important measure. Texas must continue to fund the prevention activities that are identifying cancer early in its progress and the research that is leading to new treatments.

Register to vote before October 7, 2019: https://www.vote.org/register-to-vote/texas/

Early voting will run October 21- November 1 and absentee voting will close on October 25th. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

For a listing of Tarrant county polling places: https://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/elections/Upcoming-Election-Information/Election-Day-Schedule-Locations-and-Map.html

To request an absentee ballot: https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/texas/