ASCO Praises President for White House’s Support of ‘Moonshot’ Initiative

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Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO

On January 28, 2016, ASCO released the following statement by ASCO President Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO:

ASCO applauds President Obama for aligning the Administration’s full support behind Vice President Biden’s “moonshot” initiative to accelerate the discovery of new cancer treatments, as described in the President’s executive memorandum released today.

No Better Time

With the current explosion of new cancer science, diagnostic tests, and treatments, there is no better time for this bold commitment to reduce the human suffering and loss of life that cancer inflicts on millions of Americans each year.

The Presidential order directs the establishment of a White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, chaired by the Vice President, whose membership will include the heads of a wide range of executive branch departments, including the Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense, among many others.

ASCO applauds the President for taking this important step toward making the “moonshot” vision a reality and for outlining a comprehensive approach to speed advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment that addresses critically important issues, such as patient access to care, federal funding, and information technology and interoperability of electronic health records.

Findings and Recommendations

The Task Force is charged with reaching out to external stakeholders to produce a detailed set of findings and recommendations to “(a) accelerate our understanding of cancer and its prevention, early detection, treatment, and cure; (b) improve patient access and care; (c) support greater access to new research, data, and computational capabilities; (d) encourage development of cancer treatments; (e) identify and address any unnecessary regulatory barriers and consider ways to expedite administrative reforms; (f) ensure optimal investment of federal resources; and (g) identify opportunities to develop public-private partnerships and increase coordination of the federal government’s efforts with the private sector, as appropriate.”

ASCO stands ready to offer its full support to the “moonshot” initiative and looks forward to working with Vice President Biden as he leads this unparalleled and essential effort to accelerate the rate of progress in the fight against cancer. ■