Cancer Moonshot touts early achievements
- The White House released its first report on its cancer moonshot initiative, showing progress on a number of fronts.
- Nineteen projects are already underway in the first year of the initiative, with another 27 planned for year two and beyond.
- Efforts focus on prevention like expanding the HPV vaccine and colorectal cancer screening, harnessing big data, maximizing data sharing among researchers and speeding new therapies to patients.
Among the first-year projects is a Department of Defense (DoD) longitudinal study on biomarkers in service members. DoD has about 250,000 samples going back 25 years and collects roughly 1,000 new samples each year. The samples are undergoing protein signature analysis, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, to look for environmental factors that may have contributed to the cancers
The National Cancer Institute is also redesigning how patients and oncologists learn about cancer clinical trials. The first phase of the effort involves making clinical data on Cancer.gov available through an application programming interface for academics, advocacy groups and others. Third-party innovators such as Smart Patients and Cure Forward will be able to use the API to build applications, integrations and digital platforms tailored to bring trial information to specific cancer populations.
Going forward, the cancer moonshot efforts plan to expand implementation of mobile devices and wearable technologies for cancer diagnosis and treatment, implement smoking cessation strategies across the Medicaid population, leverage virtual networks and other technology to improve access to care and create a tool that converts clinical data narratives into standardized data.
The projects range from government-run, to public-private partnerships to private endeavors.
President Obama called for a Cancer Moonshot to accelerate efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer during his 2016 State of the Union address. Vice President Biden is leading the effort. The goal is achieve 10 years’ worth of progress in half that time.