In January 2016, then-President Barack Obama announced a $1B National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The initiative, led by former Vice President Joe Biden, aims to accelerate research efforts and break down barriers to progress by enhancing data access, and facilitating collaborations with researchers, doctors, philanthropies, patients, and patient advocates, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The overarching goal is to bring about a decade’s worth of advances in five years, making more therapies available to more patients, while also improving our ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage.
Vice President Biden is moving forward with his efforts to focus upon ending cancer as a part of his priorities during his last year in office and beyond. Immunotherapy, genomics and combination therapies are central to these research efforts.
Throughout 2016, SITC leaders participated in the Cancer Moonshot as the collective voice for the field of cancer immunotherapy. SITC involvement has taken shape in the following ways:
- SITC leaders extended a letter of support and participated in ongoing discussions with Vice President Biden's Office.
- SITC members crafted recommendations as part of the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel and Working Groups. You can view the report here.
SITC Blue Ribbon Panel Members
- James P. Allison, PhD — University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Jeffery A. Bluestone, PhD — University of California San Francisco
- Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD — The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University (Panel Co-Chair)
- Augusto C. Ochoa, MD — Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
On June 29, 2016, Biden convened a Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, D.C. SITC was represented by the society's Executive Director, Tara Withington, CAE along with other SITC members in attendance. In connection with the D.C. summit, SITC hosted a virtual Twitter summit to foster discussion amongst members, colleagues, patients, and advocates.
On October 17, 2016, Biden delivered the Cancer Moonshot report to the President and the American public. The report summarizes the work of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force since its creation in January, and lays out the Vice President’s strategic plan for transforming cancer research and care. The report also includes the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel’s identified areas of scientific opportunity. SITC leaders including Executive Director Tara Withington, CAE were in attendance onsite.