We have been hearing a lot about brain cancer lately, especially in light of John McCain’s journey down that road. Joe Biden has offered a message of hope through his Cancer Moonshot initiative results. I will post articles on the progress of this initiative in the upcoming weeks.

During his 2016 State of the Union Address, President Obama called on VP Biden to lead a new, national “Moonshot” initiative. The goal is to eliminate cancer and $1 billion was given provide the funding for researchers to accelerate the development of new cancer detection and treatments. More than 1.6 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed and cancer will kill an estimated 600,000 Americans per year.

In April of 2016, the Cancer Moonshot Task Force** was directed to consult with external experts from relevant scientific sectors and a Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) of scientific experts was created to advise the presidentially appointed National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB). The BRP members agreed to establish seven working groups to focus on major topic areas. The panel considered more than 1,600 ideas submitted by the broader cancer community and following are the 10 recommendations.

Blue Ribbon Panel Report

The Blue Ribbon Panel report describes 10 transformative research recommendations for achieving the Cancer Moonshot’s ambitious goal of making a decade’s worth of progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in just 5 years.

A. Establish a network for direct patient involvement-Engage patients to contribute their comprehensive tumor profile data to expand knowledge about what therapies work, in whom, and in which types of cancer.

B. Create a translational science network devoted exclusively to immunotherapy-Establish a cancer immunotherapy network to discover why immunotherapy is effective in some patients but not in others.

C. Develop ways to overcome cancer’s resistance to therapy-Identify therapeutic targets to overcome drug resistance through studies that determine the mechanisms that lead cancer cells to become resistant to previously effective treatments.

D. Build a national cancer data ecosystem-Create a national ecosystem for sharing and analyzing cancer data so that researchers, clinicians and patients will be able to contribute data, which will facilitate efficient data analysis.

E. Intensify research on the major drivers of childhood cancers-Improve our understanding of fusion oncoproteins in pediatric cancer and use new preclinical models to develop inhibitors that target them.

F. Minimize cancer treatment’s debilitating side effects-Accelerate the development of guidelines for routine monitoring and management of patient-reported symptoms

G. Expand use of proven cancer prevention and early detection strategies-Reduce cancer risk and cancer health disparities through approaches in development, testing and broad adoption of proven prevention strategies.

H. Mine past patient data to predict future patient outcomes-Predict response to standard treatments

I. Develop a 3D cancer atlas-Create dynamic 3D maps of human tumor evolution to document each tumor as it evolves from a precancerous lesion to advanced cancer.

J. Develop new cancer technologies-Develop new enabling cancer technologies to characterize tumors.

“Cancer Moonshot℠ Blue Ribbon Panel was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.”


My next article will cover Lancet Oncology Commission on the Blue Ribbon recommendations. Then I will cover Partnership for Accelerating Cancer Therapies (PACT), a five-year, $215M initiative and part of Cancer Moonshot-a new public-private research collaboration launched in an effort to increase the number of therapies aimed at attacking cancer.

See this article on LinkedIn.