The Biden-Harris White House released a fact sheet of new cancer initiatives on February 2, the one-year anniversary of Cancer Moonshot.
White House announced new initiatives under the Cancer Moonshot, which has the goal to end cancer.
According to the CDC, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. behind heart disease.
Biden’s Cancer Moonshot is enabling public and private sectors to work together in cancer research.
The new announcements from the White House this week intend to build on accomplishments from 2022. Also, President Biden plans to appoint six members to the National Cancer Advisory Board in the near future.
Those appointed members will have an influence on assisting the Director of the National Cancer Institute in establishing plans for the national cancer research program.
What is Cancer Moonshot?
Cancer Moonshot was initially funded by the 21st Century Cures Act passed in 2016. The National Cancer Institute says Cancer Moonshot is responsible for advances in cancer research. Over 250 research projects were conducted to achieve Cancer Moonshot’s goal of accelerating discoveries.
The new goals of Cancer Moonshot are to reduce the cancer death rate by 50% in the next 25 years while improving the everyday conditions of cancer patients and cancer survivors.
Under the Cancer Moonshot, President Biden has established a Cancer Cabinet. The White House says the Cancer Cabinet has been called upon to mobilize the federal government, individuals, health care providers, and leaders across sectors to take a stand in five areas.
Their goals are to:
- Close the screening gap.
- Understand and address environmental exposure.
- Decrease the impact of preventable cancers.
- Bring cutting-edge research through the pipeline to patients and communities.
- Support patients and caregivers.
Cancer Cabinet’s new action
The White House Press release from Wednesday highlights three new actions to be taken from Biden’s Cancer Cabinet.
One of those actions includes The National Cancer Institute launching Childhood Cancer – Data Integration for Research, Education, Care, and Clinical Trials (CC-DIRECT). The goal of CC-DIRECT is to support children, adolescents, and young adults diagnosed with cancer.
Secondly, the White House says Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is awarding $10 million to 22 HRSA-funded health centers to help Americans have easier access to vital lifesaving cancer screenings to improve earlier detection. The $10 million amount represents a double-sized investment from the $5 million given to 11 health centers in 2022.
Lastly, the HHS is launching "CancerX," a partnership working together to accelerate research to battle cancer. This initiative is intended to assist biotech and health tech startups create new answers for cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and transitions in care.
Public and private sectors working together
The White House also acknowledged the efforts of the private sector in the battle against cancer. For example, National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization creating events within at-risk communities to increase cancer screenings.
Supergoop! is promoting awareness of cancer prevention. The sunscreen-producing company is expanding its "Ounce by Ounce Program," which gives SPF sunscreen to schools for zero cost. Over 6,800 SPF sunscreen pumps have been donated to classrooms and youth organizations across the U.S.
The American Cancer Society and the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation announced the beginning of a $10 million challenge grant. The grant assists American Cancer Society Hope Lodges in Omaha, Nebraska, Charleston, South Carolina, Lexington, Kentucky, Lubbock, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri.
Private sector companies are also working on cancer research advances. The White House says CancerLinQ and Owkin are working together to improve the care of patients battling metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
In 2022, Hyundai Hope On Wheels donated $15 million for research grants to over sixty hospitals and research institutions within the U.S. Hyundai Hope On Wheels has gifted $200 million in lifetime funding for research in its 25 years of operating.
The White House lists a complete recap of year-one achievements of Cancer Moonshot’s reboot on the WhiteHouse.gov website. Last year, President Biden mentioned the goals of Cancer Moonshot in his State of the Union Address. President Biden will hold his 2023 State of the Union Address on February 7.
Cancer in the U.S.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 602,350 cancer deaths in 2020, signaling a 20% drop from 2001. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., followed by colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and liver cancer.
The CDC recommends regular screening tests to locate any signs of possible breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers in their early stages. Vaccines are also recommended to help prevent certain forms of the disease such as cervical cancer. Healthy lifestyle choices featuring nutritious eating habits, regular physical activity, and skin protection can lower the chances of cancer. In many cases, cancer can develop due to genetic factors.