Department of Defense
United States Army Medical Research and Development Command
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs

Released: April 5, 2023

CDMRP Announces New Article Featuring Data on Cancer Burden and Treatment in Military Population

Program staff collaborate on commentary that details impact of cancer research on military health system

FORT DETRICK, Md. – The Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) announced the publication of a commentary article in Military Medicine, a journal published by AMSUS, The Society of Federal Health Professionals. The article, titled, Contributions of the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to Advances in Cancer Therapeutics, provides evidence demonstrating the impact of CDMRP funding to address the burden of cancer diagnoses affecting active-duty and former Service Members.

As a peer-reviewed manuscript describing the impact of CDMRP-funded research on patients in the Military Health System (MHS), the article highlights data demonstrating the effect of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer on patients in the MHS. According to the article, up to 35% of all cancer diagnoses in the MHS are breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer, contributing to the almost $1 billion annually spent on cancer diagnosis and treatment by MHS.

“CDMRP funds innovative and impactful medical research that ultimately benefits Service Members, their Families, Veterans, and the American public,” U.S. Army Col. Sarah Goldman, director of CDMRP, said. “The data from our Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, and Prostate Cancer Research Programs demonstrate that new CDMRP-funded treatments are being utilized across the MHS for those affected by these cancers.”

At the time of publication, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved 11 cancer treatments for breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer, that had received CDMRP research funding supporting the development, clinical testing, and/or commercialization of these treatments, according to the article.

“CDMRP’s cancer programs have leveraged multiple funding approaches to uncover and accelerate the development of these FDA-approved therapies,” Dr. Melissa Cunningham, Chief of Program Evaluation, CDMRP, and an article co-author, said. “Our hallmark innovation-driven funding mechanisms uncover new, groundbreaking treatment approaches, while other funding mechanisms bridge the translational research gap, ultimately accelerating the development and clinical testing of new treatments for cancer patients in the MHS and in the general American public.”

Additional data presented illustrates the impact of cancer therapeutics funded by the CDMRP Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, and Prostate Cancer Research Programs on MHS patients, reporting an estimated 140,000 prescriptions using TRICARE claims data. CDMRP coordinated with the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division and Pharmacy Analytics Support Section to generate the data presented in the article.

The CDMRP continues to seek new ideas to provide effective treatment solutions for military and civilian populations throughout the world. These focused, joint efforts can help to save and extend the lives of cancer patients in the years ahead.

The recently published article may be found here: Contributions of the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to Advances in Cancer Therapeutics.

For more information about the CDMRP, its research programs, as well as research highlights, please visit the website at

Point of Contact:

CDMRP Public Affairs

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Last updated Wednesday, April 5, 2023