Biden Continues to Advocate Against Cancer Moonshot Project

On Monday, President Joe Biden redoubled his efforts to promote his cancer moonshot plan.

Speaking in Boston at the renowned John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Vice President Biden compared his own campaign to reduce cancer rates by 50% during the next 25 years to JFK’s space race.

Regarding Kennedy’s space programme, Biden stated, “He established a national purpose that could mobilise the American people and a shared cause.”

The same national goal, he continued, “that will help to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills to eliminate cancer as we know it and even cure malignancies once and for all, is something I feel we can usher in.”

In his speech, Biden said that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the United States has started a research that will examine the use of blood testing for cancer screening.

The Biden administration sees enormous potential in such blood tests, according to Danielle Carnival, the White House coordinator for the cancer initiative, who spoke to the Associated Press.

The development of blood tests that promise to detect various cancers in a single blood test has been one of the most promising technological developments, according to Carnival. “Imagine the impact that may have on our ability to detect cancer early and in a more equitable way,” she added.

The lengthier trial, which is anticipated to last up to ten years, was intended, according to Carnival, so that any encouraging results may be immediately applied to clinical practise. The objective, according to her, is to identify malignancies using normal blood testing rather than invasive procedures like biopsies.

Since Biden lost his son Beau to brain cancer in 2015, the matter is close to his heart. Following Beau’s passing, Congress approved the 21st Century Cures Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2016 and allocated $1.8 billion over seven years for cancer research.

However, the cancer initiative does not receive the same amount of funding that the space programme did. The Apollo space programme received more than $20 billion, or more than $220 billion in 2022 currency, according to the AP.

On Monday, Biden highlighted the cancer initiative and revealed that Dr. Renee Wegrzyn would take over as the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), which is tasked with examining potential treatments and cures for conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Additionally, Biden unveiled a new NCI initiative that will provide funding for young researchers looking into cancer therapies and cures with an emphasis on underrepresented populations.

Making cancer care more fair can advance research even in the absence of new discoveries, according to Dr. Crystal Denlinger, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s chief scientific officer.

The most common cancer killer, lung cancer, must be the focus of any effort to lower the cancer death rate, according to the AP. Lung cancer currently accounts for more cancer fatalities than any other malignancy, largely due to smoking.

Screening for lung cancer is beneficial. According to the American Cancer Society, this screening reduced the cancer death rate by 32% from its high between 1991 and 2019, according to the AP.

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For additional information on the cancer moonshot programme, go to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCE: Sept. 12, 2022, White House news release; Associated Press

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