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Blue Ribbon Panel Gives 10 Recommendations to Cancer Moonshot Program

A Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) recently gave 10 scientific recommendations most likely to make progress against cancer in the next five years under the Cancer Moonshot Program.  The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Acting Director Douglas Lowy accepted the recommendations from the panel.

“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 Lowy. “NCI stands ready to accelerate cancer research in the critical areas identified by the Blue Ribbon Panel.”

The Cancer Moonshot program was announced during President Obama’s State of the Union address in January 2016.  Vice President Joe Biden has since taken over the program, and is working to release a full set of recommendations for using Federal investments, private sector efforts, patient initiatives, and more later this fall.

“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. “The approaches identified by the Blue Ribbon Panel offer exceptional promise in tipping the odds in favor of cancer patients.”

The 10 recommendations are:

  • Encourage patients to contribute their comprehensive tumor profile data.
  • Establish a cancer immunotherapy clinical trials network.
  • Identify therapeutic targets to overcome drug resistance.
  • Create a national ecosystem for sharing and analyzing cancer data.
  • Improve understanding of fusion oncoproteins in pediatric cancer.
  • Accelerate the development of guidelines for routine monitoring and management of patient-reported symptoms.
  • Reduce cancer risk and cancer health disparities through broad adoption of proven prevention strategies.
  • Predict response to standard treatments.
  • Create dynamic 3-D maps of human tumor evolution.
  • Develop new enabling cancer technologies to characterize tumors and test therapies.

These recommendations further the Cancer Moonshot scientific road map, which hopes to see patients contributing their data to help researchers identify possible new treatments and interventions and help doctors better predict treatment outcomes and control patients’ symptoms.

Lowy will now share the recommendations 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 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.”

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