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Cancer Moonshot

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        One in every four deaths in America is cancer-related. Each year roughly 585,000 Americans die from cancer – more than 1,500 per day, making cancer the second-leading cause of death in America, second only to heart disease. With these insane statistics nearly every American has a family member or close friend who has died of cancer; it affects people all across the country and the globe.

        On January 12th, 2016, President Barack Obama announced the White House’s plan to establish a “Cancer Moonshot” program, an effort to speed up the process of finding a cure for cancer. The program is now in full swing. Moonshot’s leader, Vice President Joe Biden, spoke on behalf of the U.S Senate about the project’s process to hundreds of health care professionals and researchers at the Edward M. Kennedy Institution in Boston on October 19th. Biden was selected to lead the organization due to the cancer-related death of own son, making the matter is extremely important and personal to him.

        At the meeting Biden spoke about the “Moonshot’s” goals to make more therapies available to patients, improve cancer prevention programs, and to start focusing on the early detection of cancer. The Moonshot program hopes to increase the progress of cancer treatment and research by twice the speed. If accomplished, what would normally be accomplished in ten years can be completed in five.

        Biden also spoke about the Cancer Moonshot task force, which includes scientists from over a dozen federal departments and agencies, such as National Cancer Institute, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institutes of Health.The task force has been consulting with external experts, including members of National Cancer Advisory Board, as well as a Blue Ribbon Panel that provides expert advice on the proposed scientific goals, the vision, and also on implementation. The Obama administration is gathering researchers from many different organizations in an effort to encourage cancer researchers to share more information among each other.

        Biden also mentioned the administration’s goal to speed up the federal drug approval process in an effort to make it easier for cancer patients to participate in clinical trials. Biden believes that the country is “on the cusp of enormous progress in cancer research.” However, he admits that more investment is needed, and encouraged the public to donate to the Moonshot organization.

Sources:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/17/fact-sheet-vice-president-biden-delivers-cancer-moonshot-report

https://www.cancer.gov/research/key-initiatives/moonshot-cancer-initiative

https://www.whitehouse.gov/CancerMoonshot

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Cancer Moonshot