#LCSM Chat Topic 1/28: What Does the Lung Cancer Community Expect from the New Cancer Moonshot Program?

At the recent State of the Union Address, President Obama struck a bipartisan chord by announcing a new “Cancer Moonshot” program with Vice President Joe Biden serving as “mission control” and leading a charge of renewed efforts to remove perceived barriers to scientific collaboration and achieve unprecedented progress to understand, prevent, and more effectively treat cancers of all types. Vice President Biden has a very personal stake, as his son Beau died of a glioblastoma (a primary brain cancer) in May, 2015. He has been meeting with several leading national cancer experts and representatives from many cancer groups in planning next steps.

The idea of a “moonshot” refers to President Kennedy’s announcement in a 1962 of a national effort to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. At that time, with Americans perceived to be several steps behind the Soviet space program, this seemed to be a very audacious goal, but it was one that galvanized the nation, especially when it was realized when millions watched Neil Armstrong take that first step in August of 1969. In many ways, the goal of eradicating cancer seems similarly audacious, perhaps especially so in light of the fact that it was 1971, not long after the first moon landing, that President Nixon first declared war on cancer. Notably, there was no clearly defined deadline or timeline with the current effort, though Vice President Biden apparently plans to make this the main focus of his life’s work from this point forward.

At our upcoming #LCSM chat, on January 28, 2016, at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific, we’ll discuss what the cancer moonshot program means to the lung cancer community, focusing on these questions:

  • Is eradication of cancer is attainable within years? What are keys to progress? More $$? Leading collaborations? “Big data”?
  • Do you expect cancer moonshot program will narrow funding/research gap for LC vs others, or will it need to compete for attention?
  • If you needed to prioritize one effort for LC, what would it be? Lab research? Prevention? Screening? Treating existing disease?
  • Do you believe a time line to a defined goal is needed, or will prioritization be enough? If a deadline, what endpoint & when?

We look forward to you joining us on Thursday to discuss the implications of the US Cancer Moonshot Program to the lung cancer community. New to Twitter chats? Here’s an easy-to-follow primer.


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