Scientific advisers tapped to guide Bidens cancer moonshot

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Country The National Cancer Institute (NCI) today named a blue ribbon panel of scientists and other experts to help guide Vice President Joe Biden’s ambitious $1 billion moonshot to cure cancer.Announced during President Barack Obama’s January State of the Union Address, the moonshot project will aim to double progress against cancer in the next 5 years and break down silos that prevent researchers from working together. NCI is spending $195 million on the effort this year and Obama has requested another $680 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for next year.The 28-member blue ribbon panel, a working group of the NCI’s National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), will have three co-chairs: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge cancer biologist Tyler Jacks, who is chair of NCAB; Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, cancer immunologist Elizabeth Jaffee; and NCI acting deputy director Dinah Singer. The other panelists include cancer center directors, researchers in tumor genomics and cancer immunotherapy, patient advocates, and industry leaders, including Patrick Soon-Shiong, CEO of NantWorks, who recently launched his own cancer moonshot to test immunotherapy drugs. Emailcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Some have asked why yet another campaign to conquer cancer is needed now, 45 years after President Nixon declared war on cancer. In a perspective today in the The New England Journal of Medicine, NIH Director Francis Collins and NCI acting director Douglas Lowy offer an explanation. Advances such as a new understanding of cancer as a genomic disease and successes with immunotherapy—harnessing the immune system to thwart tumors—mean that “the time is right for a renewed surge against cancer,” they write. They elaborate on several focus areas described by the White House earlier: preventive vaccines, early detection, single cancer cell genomics, immunotherapy, pediatric cancer, and data sharing. The commentary also reiterates a proposal for a special fund to fund promising research quickly.The advisory board will take ideas from the public and hold a summit later this spring to discuss collaborations with industry. It will pass its ideas to NCAB, which will release a proposed research plan by late summer. The White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, an interagency group led by Greg Simon, a cancer patient and industry executive, will then deliver a report to President Obama by the end of the year.last_img

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