September 25, 2022
In a nod to JFK, Biden puts forward “moonlight” to fight cancer

President Biden on Monday channeled John F. Kennedy on the 60th anniversary of JFK’s moonlight speech, highlighting the efforts of the Biden administration, aimed at “ending cancer as we know it.”

The president traveled to Boston on Monday to draw attention to a new federally-backed study that seeks to validate using blood tests to screen against several cancers — to dramatically improve early detection of cancer. A potential game-changer in clinical trials. On Monday, the president announced Dr. Renee Wegrzin as the inaugural director of ARPA-H, which has been tasked with studying treatments and potential cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases.

“The goal is to cut cancer mortality by 50%, at least 50%, over the next 25 years,” Mr Biden said on Monday. “Turn more cancers than the death penalty into chronic diseases that people can live with. To create a more supportive experience for patients and families.”

his speech in John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum comes as Mr Biden wants to rally the nation to develop treatments and therapeutics for widespread diseases that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ranks as the second biggest killer of people in America after heart disease. On Monday, the president encouraged Americans facing cancer to share their stories with the White House.

White House cancer moonshot coordinator Danielle Carnival told The Associated Press that the administration sees great potential to launch blood diagnostic studies to diagnose and treat cancer.

“One of the most promising technologies has been the development of a blood test that promises to detect multiple cancers in a single blood test and really visualize the effect that would have on our ability to detect cancers early and more equitably.” capacity,” Carnival said. “We think the best way to get us to where they felt is to really test the technologies we have today and see what works and really has an impact on the extension of life.” “

In 2022, American Cancer Society It is estimated that 1.9 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 609,360 people will die from cancer diseases.

The issue is personal for Mr Biden, who lost his adult son Beau to brain cancer in 2015. After Beau’s death, Congress passed 21st Century Cure ActWhich devoted $1.8 billion over seven years to cancer research and was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2016.

Obama named Biden, then vice president, to run “mission control” on directing the Cancer Fund as a recognition of Biden’s grief as a parent and willingness to do something about it. Mr Biden wrote in his memoir “Promise Me, Dad” that he chose not to run for president in 2016 mainly because of Beau’s death.

The current initiative lacks the same level of budgetary support, despite Mr Biden’s efforts to back Kennedy and his space program. The Apollo program received massive public investment—more than $20 billion adjusted for inflation, or more than $220 billion in 2022 dollars. Mr. Biden’s “moonshot” effort is far more modest and relies on private sector investment.

Still, Mr. Biden has tried to maintain momentum for investment in public health research, including championing Advanced Research Projects Agency for HealthModeled after similar research and development initiatives benefiting the Pentagon and the intelligence community.

Experts agree that it is too early to say whether these new blood tests to detect cancer in healthy people will have any effect on cancer deaths. No studies have been done to show that they reduce the risk of dying from cancer. Still, he says it’s important to set an ambitious goal.

Dr. Raymond N., Executive Chairman of the Board of The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research. “The additional steps that President Joe Biden announced today are essential in the ongoing fight against cancer,” Dubois said. “To defeat this disease, it will not only take a holistic government approach, but significant investment from the private sector to fund research that will transform cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. We applaud the President’s decision to sign The executive order established the Biotechnology and Biomanufacture Initiative to continue to ensure the technologies and innovations needed to end cancer as we know it and save millions of lives.”

said carnival National Cancer Institute The study was designed so that any promising clinical results could be rapidly put into widespread practice, while longer-term studies – expected to last a decade – progress. She said the goal is to move closer to a future where cancer can be detected through routine blood work, potentially replacing more invasive and cumbersome procedures such as colonoscopy, and therefore saving lives.

Scientists now understand that cancer is not a single disease, but hundreds of diseases that respond differently to different treatments. Some cancers have biomarkers that can be targeted by existing drugs that will slow tumor growth. Many more targets await discovery.

“How do we learn which treatments are effective in which subtypes of disease? To me it’s marine,” said Donald A. Berry, a biostatistician at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “The possibilities are huge. The challenges are huge.”

Despite the challenges, he is optimistic about halving cancer mortality in the next 25 years.

“We can achieve that 50% goal by sufficiently slowing the disease in various cancers without curing them,” Berry said. “If I were to bet on whether we’d get this 50% reduction, I’d bet yes.”

Even without new breakthroughs, progress can be made by making care more equitable, said Dr. Crystal Denlinger, Chief Scientific Officer National Comprehensive Cancer NetworkA group of elite cancer centers.

And any effort to reduce cancer mortality will need to focus on the biggest cancer killer, which is lung cancer. Mostly caused by smoking, lung cancer now causes more cancer deaths than any other cancer. Of the 1,670 cancer deaths in the United States every day, more than 350 are from lung cancer.

lung cancer screening is helpful. The American Cancer Society says such screening helped reduce cancer mortality by 32% from its peak from 1991 to 2019, the most recent year for which numbers are available.

But only 5% of eligible patients are being screened for lung cancer.

“It’s sad,” said lung specialist Dr. Roy Herbst Yale Cancer Center.

“The moon must be a social reform as well as a scientific and medical reform,” Herbst said. “We have to find a way that makes screening easier, that it is fully covered, that we have more screening facilities.”

of Dr. Michael Hassett Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said Mr Biden’s goal of reducing cancer deaths could be accomplished by following two parallel paths: one by discovery and the other by ensuring that more people benefit from existing treatments and preventive approaches. are picking up.

“If we can address both aspects, both challenges, great progress is possible,” Hassett said.

In breast cancer, for example, many women who could benefit from the hormone-blocking pill either never start therapy or stop taking it before the recommended five years, Hassett’s research found.

“Those are big gaps,” Hassett said. “It’s a treatment that’s effective. But if a lot of people aren’t taking that drug or if they’re taking it but are stopping it before they finish the course of therapy, the drug that can offer benefits.” He doesn’t realize it.”

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