Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Cancer Research Initiative


Summary of Achievement

Proposed by Governor Perry in his 2007 State-of-the-State Address and passed by the legislature, Texas established a $3 billion, 10-year cancer research investment initiative. On November 6, 2007, Texas voters approved Proposition 15, the constitutional amendment that allows the State of Texas to establish the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and allows the issuance of $3 billion in general obligation bonds as funding for the initiative. 

The Challenge

It is estimated that more than 38,000 Texans will die of cancer in 2008. Cancer is currently the second leading cause of death in Texas and is expected to become the national leading cause of death within the next decade. The human and economic toll from illness and premature death resulting from cancer is enormous. While the federal government invests tens of billions of dollars annually in cancer research throughout the United States, this funding has been fairly stagnant for several years. This situation leaves many promising research initiatives unfunded or with a lack of financial resources to finish development and take products to market, such as conducting clinical trials for medications. 

Action / Initiative

Governor Perry first proposed the $3 billion cancer research initiative in his State-of-the-State Address to the Texas Legislature on February 6, 2007.  By the end of the session Governor Perry achieved passage of House Bill 14 to implement the initiative, and House Joint Resolution 90 which authorized the constitutional amendment, Proposition 15, for the election ballot in November 2007. The approval of Proposition 15 led to the creation of a new agency, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (Institute), and authorized the issuance of $3 billion in general obligation bonds over 10 years to finance research grant awards.

Governor Perry, the speaker of the house, and the lieutenant governor each have three appointees on the Institute’s 11-member Oversight Committee.  The attorney general and comptroller of public accounts are ex officio members.  The Oversight Committee is responsible for developing policies and procedures to make the new agency operational and approving research and prevention program grant awards.  It began meeting in June 2008 and began accepting the first applications for funding in September 2009. 


The Outcome

The influx of $3 billion into cancer research in Texas represents a significant investment in finding cures for cancers. This investment in research has the potential to yield many new cancer treatments and preventive measures in the not too distant future.
Graph 1
Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates
Graph 2
Five-Year Relative Survival Rates By Stage* at Diagnosis, 1999-2005

Supporting Content

Graph 1 *Rates are per 100,000 and age-adjusted to the 2000 US Standard Population (19 age groups - Census P25-1130) standard.
Prepared by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
Incidence Source:  Texas Department of State Health Services, Cancer Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch, Texas Cancer Registry, Incidence, 1995-2006, NPCR-CSS Sub 11-26-2008, SEER Pop-Adj, SEER*Prep 2.4.0
Mortality Source:  Texas Department of State Health Services, Cancer Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch, Texas Cancer Registry, Mortality, 1990-2006, Center for Health Statistics, Created 03/31/2009.
Graph 2 *Localized is the earliest stage of invasive cancer.  In regional stage, cancer has spread to adjacent organs or lymph nodes surrounding the primary organ.  In distant stage, cancer has spread to remote areas of the body.
Prepared by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and the Texas Department of State Health Services, Cancer Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch, Texas Cancer Registry.
Data Source:  SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1995-2006, Downloaded 10/16/2009 from SEER Website athttp://seer.cancer.gov/