Launching the Moonshot for Cancer 2020
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Cancer has touched everyone’s lives in some way. Just as a person’s fingerprint is unique so is each person’s cancer. The treatment for one person’s lung cancer might not be right for another person’s lung cancer, but that treatment might work for another person’s breast cancer. We know more about cancer than we ever have before and while it may look like we will never reach a cure, now is the time we must pull all of our resources and technologies together to conquer the unknown.
Aiming for the Moon
The Apollo program, which put a man on the moon, represents the largest and most expensive undertaking in the history of mankind outside of war. President Obama (@POTUS) and Vice President (@VP) Joe Biden believe Cancer Moonshot 2020 will be this generation’s exhaustive collaborative effort to do the impossible. As President Kennedy said in his address regarding the nation’s space effort, “…that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.” Biden, whose son Beau died of brain cancer in May, has been charged by President Obama with leading this modern moonshot effort.
Cancer Moonshot 2020
One of every four deaths in The United States is from cancer. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and drugs have all been used to treat cancer. Most recently, vaccines and immunotherapies have been tried to fight the disease. None of these treatments so far are enough. The president and vice president have introduced a plan in which several groups would join forces to fight the disease. Pharmaceutical companies, academic and research institutions, government agencies, NGOs, technology companies, insurance companies, and physicians will all work together to undertake the challenge to subdue cancer over the next five years. The ultimate goal is to develop a “vaccine-based immunotherapy tailored to the unique tumor signature of individual patients.”
The Cancer Moonshot 2020 initiative is definitely a personal one for the vice president. He announced in October that he would not be running for president as he was still grieving the loss of his son. He is giving all of his attention and energy to this new mission. Biden’s schedule is packed with meetings and round tables with top cancer researchers, universities, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies. While he is feeling the love and support of many, there are plenty of critics out there as well. But Biden is unwavering in his commitment. In his words, “This is our moonshot. If there’s one word that defines who we are as Americans, it’s “possibility.” And these are the moments when we show up.”
Lets hope the critics are proven wrong, Americans show up, and Joe reaches the moon.