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May 2018

Using the Cancer Moonshot to Conquer Cancer Disparities: A Model for Action

Author Affiliations
  • 1Moores Cancer Center, Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California San Diego, La Jolla
  • 2Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 3Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University, Columbus
JAMA Oncol. 2018;4(5):624-625. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.5694

On January 20, 2015, President Barack Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative, with the goal of accelerating cancer discoveries to make a decade’s worth of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in just 5 years. In his final State of the Union address, President Obama asked Vice President Joe Biden to lead a new national effort to end cancer as we know it, now called the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative. To help accomplish the goal of the Moonshot, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened the Blue Ribbon Panel, charged with assessing the state of the science and identifying major research opportunities that could uniquely benefit from a Cancer Moonshot investment. Following an intense, brief period of deliberations among the 7 Blue Ribbon Panel working groups, the Panel produced a final report1 featuring 10 research recommendations to achieve the Cancer Moonshot’s goal. The report was presented to the National Cancer Advisory Board, and on October 17, 2016, Vice President Biden delivered the Cancer Moonshot Report to President Obama. Funding for the initial support of the recommendations was provided by the 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law in December 2016, resulting in $1.8 billion over 7 years allocated to the Cancer Moonshot.

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