Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that the House of Representatives has approved $1.6 million for the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Marty Driesler Cancer Project as part of the 2010 Department of Defense spending bill. The Senate is expected to vote on this final legislation soon.

“Cancer has affected nearly every family in the Commonwealth in some way or another,” said Rogers. “Led by UK’s leading medical researchers, new technologies and techniques are helping us detect cancerous cells at the very early and treatable stages. We’ve made significant progress and lives have been spared because of the Marty Driesler Cancer Project. This new round of funding will continue this important work and alert our service men and women to potential dangers and threats that can lead to lung cancer.”

Created in 2004, the Marty Driesler Cancer Project is a lethal cancers early detection and awareness program. The program is named in honor of Congressman Rogers’ former chief of staff, who died in November 2003 after a three-year battle with lung cancer. The University of Kentucky, nationally known for its work and research in the field of cancer detection and treatment, continues to oversee its application at four regional healthcare facilities in Hazard, Somerset, Prestonsburg, and Morehead. These organizations have established robust community research programs, and have successfully recruited individuals who continue to be screened for lung cancer with yearly CT scans. In addition, important samples have been collected, and will serve as a unique resource for researchers who are developing screening blood tests for lung cancer and for epidemiologists studying this dreaded disease.

In the past six years, Rogers has secured over $3 million for the Marty Driesler Cancer Project. The most recently approved funding is to help continue the current research, as well as expand the focus to include veterans and educate our military families. Specifically, this new funding can provide the Department of Defense (DOD) with health information to identify high risk factors and exposures to cancer in military environments, and provide a model for early cancer detection and screening within the Armed Forces.

Through his role as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Rogers supports important initiatives for the Fifth Congressional District.