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Concerns grow over dominance of cancer research

Scienctists are becoming increasingly concerned about the large share of biosciences funding that goes to cancer research, Research Europe has learned.

The trend for cancer research to receive a high proportion of funding started about a decade ago in the United States. Cancer fundraising campaigns have been very successful and cancer research is more likely than other fields to yield profitable results for industry, leading to fears that research on pulmonary, infectious and cardiovascular diseases is missing out on funding.

Christian Eckmann, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Germany, says that public funding in many EU countries is often distributed through a single source, which limits the availability of funding for fields that have less of a profile. Eckmann says he has heard from some biomedicine researchers that they are re-considering the direction of their careers so that they can benefit from the high levels of funding for cancer research.

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