Nightly News   |  October 03, 2013

Cutting edge research on hold at NIH

At NIH headquarters, the lack of government funding means 200 patients each week will be turned away from new clinical studies. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> and millions are feeling the impact of the shutdown. very close to home and across this country including some for whom this standoff feels like a matter of life and death for them. nbc's tom costello is standing by just outside the campus of the national institutes of health near washington tonight. tom, good evening.

>> reporter: hi, brian. the nih conducts some of the most cutting edge research into diseases like cancer. right now much of the research is on hold, the campus largely close ed down. people hoping for new clinical drug trials, they have to wait. in california, michelle langben is desperate. waiting for a drug the trial she hopes will save her life.

>> every day counts. every second. i told my daughter i refuse to let her grow up without a mom. i will make that happen no matter what i have to do.

>> reporter: the mother of the 18-year-old has been told her rare sarcoma could be terminal. new trials are on hold.

>> i'd like to let congress know that this decision needs to be made quickly. we don't have the time to wait.

>> reporter: the nih funds re search nationwide. a lack of funding at the headquarters means 200 patients, including 30 children, each week will be turned away from clinical studies . though if a patient is in a trial already their care will continue. furloughed, nearly 14,000 including scientists looking for medical breakthroughs.

>> for every day we are unable to provide potentially life-saving new treatments to people with cancer, there is going to be an impact on health and there's going to be people who might die.

>> reporter: most of the operations at the cdc in atlanta are shut down. #,000 staffers furloughed. no monitoring for infectious disease outbreaks, reduced critical lab work, no one watching the seasonal flu. across the country, waiting on washington.

>> this clinical trial may give me hope that i can see my daughter grow up. that is so important to me .

>> reporter: more than 1400 clinical trials are under way here involving patients. those trials will continue. but no new clinical trials and most research on hold. brian?

>> tom costello outside nih, bethesda, maryland, with another part of the story. tom, thanks.