National Cancer Institute (NCI) Acting Director Douglas Lowy, M.D., has accepted the recommendations of a Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) on 10 scientific approaches most likely to make a decade’s worth of progress against cancer in five years under the Cancer Moonshot. The report was presented by the BRP to the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), and it was subsequently considered and accepted by the NCAB with revisions that reflect the NCAB’s discussion. An overview of the report was published today in the journal Science.
“The bold but feasible cross-cutting initiatives in this report will improve outcomes for patients with cancer, prevent cancer and increase our understanding of cancer,” said Dr. Lowy. “NCI stands ready to accelerate cancer research in the critical areas identified by the Blue Ribbon Panel.”
In January 2016, during his State of the Union address, President Obama announced the Cancer Moonshot “for the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the families we can still save.” The NCI’s scientific road map outlined by the BRP is one component of the Cancer Moonshot’s broader effort focused on accelerating progress on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Under the Vice President’s leadership, a full set of recommendations for leveraging federal investments, private sector efforts, patient initiatives and more under the mission will be announced later this fall.
The 10 transformative approaches poised for acceleration are:
“Thanks to the coalescence of new scientific insights and technological innovations, cancer research is poised to make unprecedented advances,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “The approaches identified by the Blue Ribbon Panel offer exceptional promise in tipping the odds in favor of cancer patients.”
In addition to the 10 scientific approaches, the road map has specific, special projects. These include a demonstration project to test for Lynch syndrome, a heritable genetic condition that increases risk of several types of cancer, to improve early detection and prevention; the establishment of a nationwide pediatric immunotherapy clinical trials network to enhance the speed with which new immunotherapies can be tested in children; exploring patient-derived organoids; and “microdosing” devices to test drug responses in living tumors.
The Cancer Moonshot scientific road map creates a vision for the future of cancer research and treatment in which:
Dr. Lowy will share the report with the Cancer Moonshot Task Force.
“NCI greatly appreciates Vice President Biden’s leadership of and passion for the Cancer Moonshot. The Vice President has galvanized the community to move forward so we can greatly improve our ability to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer,” said Dr. Lowy. “The efforts of the BRP and working group members have been extraordinary, and I thank them for their time, energy and ideas. I am confident that the cancer community will build on this effort and seize this unprecedented opportunity to accelerate progress.”