- President Barack Obama made good on a promise to increase federal efforts to fight cancer, signing a memorandum yesterday to create a White House task force on the disease.
- The task force will be led by Vice President Joseph Biden and include representatives from at least 13 agencies, including the FDA and the National Cancer Institute.
- The effort will aim to double the rate of research and treatment gains, according to the memorandum.
The White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force is named for Biden’s comment it would take a “moonshot” to cure the disease. In his State of the Union address earlier this month, Obama said he was “putting Joe in charge of mission control.” Biden lost his son, Beau, to cancer last year.
“It is of critical national importance that we accelerate progress towards prevention, treatment, and a cure … and put ourselves on a path to achieve in just 5 years research and treatment gains that otherwise might take a decade or more,” the president said.
The National Institutes of Health will provide funding and administrative support for the task force. External experts from relevant groups will be consulted.
The memorandum also calls for the National Cancer Advisory Board to convene a blue ribbon panel of experts to advise the task force and guide programs and policies at the NCI as it relates to the task force’s work. Opportunities for public-private partnerships will also be identified.