MARYLAND, USA — Gov. Larry Hogan announced that the state is investing $216 million into researching cancer cures and treatments as part of a new Maryland Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
The state is also committed to helping fund a comprehensive cancer center in Prince George's County, expected to break ground on Thursday.
Hogan, a cancer survivor, himself — who battled stage 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma during his first term as governor — noted in a statement that the disease touches nearly everyone.
"On the day I found out I was cancer-free, I pledged that as long as I am governor and long after, I will stand with all those who are fighting this terrible disease," Hogan said in a statement. "This is a watershed moment in the fight against cancer in our state and the region."
According to the governor, the Maryland Cancer Moonshot will "dramatically accelerate [the state's] efforts to detect, prevent, treat, and find a cure for cancer, so that more lives can be saved." The initiative will make it easier to expand early detective of cancer as well as screenings, patient education. It will also provide advanced services for inpatient and outpatient care.
Funding for Prince George's County Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Prince George's County Comprehensive Cancer Center is a $67 million investment — the governor has committed $27 million, the state senate will fund $27 million and the House of Delegates will fund $26.7 million. The new center will be built on the campus of the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo to serve the residents of Prince George's County.
Nathaniel Richardson Jr., the president and CEO of the University of Maryland Capital Region Health, said in a statement that the organization has long planned a cancer center in Prince George's County, so he is thankful to receive funding from the state.
"A dedicated, comprehensive regional cancer center in Prince George’s County will provide access to care within a county that has long been challenged with a high incidence of cancer among African Americans," he said in a statement. "This funding is essential in our efforts to combat disease and it will dramatically improve the quality of life for many residents who will no longer have to travel to another jurisdiction to receive high-quality care."
Expanding the Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore
The Maryland Cancer Moonshot initiative will provide $100 million in funding to expand the Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore with "state-of-the-art inpatient and outpatient cancer services." The center serves 3,000 new patients annually.
Dr. Mohan Suntha, the president and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System, said in a statement the funding "will have a dramatic and unquestioned positive impact on ... [the] treat[ment of] cancer patients in the years and decades to come."
Suntha noted the state's partnership with Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore has propelled UMMS's ability to provide more of an impact to patients through its "cutting edge clinical care, clinical trials and innovation."
Here's how the rest of the Maryland Moonshot funding will be used
According to the American Cancer Society, by 2022 there will be 35,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2022 with 11,000 cancer-related deaths. Currently, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Maryland.
Here's how the rest of the funding for the Maryland Cancer Moonshot Initiative will be used:
- $25 million will accelerate cancer research projects at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University;
- $1 million will expand pediatric cancer research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine;
- $20.5 million will go to the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund to "catalyze investment in regenerative medicine projects to develop novel cures and groundbreaking treatments for prevalent cancers"; and
- $2.5 million will expand the workforce for life sciences and biotechnology in the BioHub Maryland Initiative and focus on talent development and outreach to students in underserved communities.
These initiatives are included in Hogan's Fiscal Year 2023 budget as well as his fifth supplemental budget.