Push to ‘end’ cancer reignites as President Biden relaunches Cancer Moonshot to find a cure

President Joe Biden first led Cancer Moonshot as vice president. Now, as president, he’s reigniting the program.
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 7:19 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden announced he is reigniting the Cancer Moonshot. It’s a program that has laid out an ambitious goal of finding a cure for cancer.

President Biden first embarked on the Cancer Moonshot in 2016 when he was vice president under President Barack Obama. At that time, President Obama declared, “Let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”

The goal moving forward with the program’s relaunch in 2022 is to reduce cancer death rates by at least 50% over the next 25 years and improve the life of those living with cancer. The president noted cancer is the number two leading cause of death in America.

“We’ll bring a fierce sense of urgency to the goal to fight cancer,” said the president, who called the Cancer Moonshot plan “supercharged.”

President Biden announced he has formed a new cancer cabinet that will convene in the coming weeks. In the president’s 2022 budget, he is also asking Congress to fund Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), with a price tag of $6.5 billion available for three years. The agency would build high-risk, high-reward platforms to drive biomedical breakthroughs. The president also encouraged collaboration and bold new ideas for the scientific, medical, and health care communities.

Dr. Danielle Carnival will be the Cancer Moonshot coordinator. She said, “It’s about driving new discoveries and new treatments through research, but it’s also about making sure the tools we have reach all communities across the country.”

According to research published in JAMA Oncology, more than 9 million cancer screenings were missed during the course of the coronavirus pandemic, a point underscored by the president. President Biden issued a call to action for everyone to make cancer screening appointments.

The president made the announcement alongside first lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and first gentleman Doug Emhoff. Biden previously lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer when Beau was 46-years-old.

“We can stop it in its tracks,” said Dr. Jill Biden. She also urged Americans to come together to rewrite the story that cancer tells.

Vice President Harris reflected on her late mother, who worked in cancer research, and who ultimately died of colon cancer.

“My whole life, I stood witness as my mother, a scientist, worked to end breast cancer,” said Harris. “My mother’s discoveries helped save women’s lives, and I’m so proud that she brought our nation and our world closer to the goal of ending breast cancer as we know it. And today, we are closer than we’ve ever been.”

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