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The Cancer Moonshot: Opportunities to Fulfill the Vision of the National Cancer Plan

April 12, 2024
by Renee Gaudette

A Panel Session Hosted by Dr. Roy Herbst at AACR Dedicated to the Memory of Senator Dianne Feinstein

The Reignited Cancer Moonshot launched by President Biden seeks to mobilize resources and forge partnerships in the fight against cancer with the goals of reducing cancer death rates by half within 25 years and improving the lives of both people with cancer and cancer survivors.

Hosted by Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, this session at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting provided an opportunity for National Cancer Institute (NCI) leadership to discuss recent breakthroughs in cancer science and the promise of the National Cancer Plan. Presentations were followed by a discussion by several leaders in the field about the enormous opportunities in cancer research and the need for a concerted effort to inform Congress about the importance of continuing robust investments in NCI and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at large.

Panelists included Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, director of the National Cancer Institute; Elizabeth Jaffee, MD, chair of the President's Cancer Panel; Patricia LoRusso, DO, president of AACR and Amy and Joseph Perella Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) at Yale School of Medicine; and Bianca Islam, MD, PhD, MSc, physician-scientist at University Hospitals in Cleveland.

As part of the Moonshot, NCI has outlined the National Cancer Plan roadmap, to advance research and intervention strategies to improve cancer prevention, detection, and treatment, and to reduce cancer inequities. However, the historic bipartisan support in Congress for federal biomedical research funding has eroded. As a result, biomedical researchers are facing a crisis. The NIH budget is stagnant for the first time in eight years, jeopardizing further progress against cancer and a multitude of other diseases and health challenges.

Submitted by Renee Gaudette on April 12, 2024