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Moonshot: the Race for a Cure for Cancer

August 10, 2016

Fifty years ago, President Kennedy stood in front of the country and said we should go to the moon. On January 12, 2016, at the State of the Union address, President Obama announced another “moonshot” by directing Vice-President Biden to lead a task force to double the rate of cancer research for the purpose of curing cancer.  

On June 29th, hundreds of leaders attended the National Cancer Moonshot Summit at Howard University in Washington D.C. with many more attending as well across the country. This summit brought together patients, survivors and advocates from government, industry, health centers, philanthropy, research institutes and professional societies. Major themes included breaking down silos, funding and reporting of results.Cancer_Moonshot_summit.png

At the summit, Vice President Joe Biden threatened to cut funds to medical research institutions that do not report the clinical trial results in a timely manner. A STAT investigation showed that four of the top 10 recipient of National Institute of Health (NIH) funding failed to report results or reported after the deadlines 95 percent of the time. Even the NIH’s own staff failed to report results ¾ of the time. This threat is under final rule to impose $10,000-a-day fines on companies it regulates if they do not comply with the reporting law, as well as impose stricter enforcement of the no report – no pay policy.

Curing cancer seems just as monumental as landing on the moon but here's hoping in fifty years, we'll look back and see cancer conquered. Did anyone attend the national summit, or attend a local summit this week? What are your thoughts on this “moonshot”?






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