November 26, 2014

A budget boost for cancer research

Governor Scott Walker says he plans to include almost $4 million in his proposed state budget to expand cancer research and treatments. The money would help UW-Madison’s Carbone Cancer Center make its diagnostic imaging technology available to private medical centers like the Marshfield Clinic.

The plan would create a new “Wisconsin Oncology Network of Imaging Excellence” to spread the technology, which Walker says will give patients in rural areas more access to cancer treatments. The Cancer Center currently runs the network with 20 sites around the state. The governor says he will put $3.7 million in his proposed budget and hopes that the private sector will match those funds.

AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker (:14)

Marshfield Clinic now has about 150 clinical treatment trials for oncology patients. Clinic research official Matthias Weiss says the Walker initiative will make more trials available for cancer prevention, screenings, and treatments. The governor said such efforts are vital, because one of every four Wisconsinites dies from cancer in any given year.

Walker said his own family has been hit hard. His mother-in-law and brother-in-law both died from cancer, and his father has survived prostate cancer.

Walker will present his budget to the Legislature next week.

Mike Kemmeter, WHBY