Tuesday, September 27

Here’s what to expect from Biden’s ‘Cancer Moonshot’ speech in Boston


President Joe Biden will speak at the JFK Library in Boston Monday afternoon about “Cancer Moonshot,” an initiative to end cancer as we know it.The Cancer Moonshot mission started in 2016 when Biden, then vice president, led an effort to double the rate of progress against cancer.Biden reignited the initiative during a White House event in February, setting new goals to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people, their families and caregivers who are living with and surviving cancer.Dr. Laurie Glimcher, chief executive officer of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said Cancer Moonshot could change the lives of patients and their families.”This is the future,” Glimcher said. “I think the Cancer Moonshot will help ensure that there is money and focus on important research and drug development to treat cancer.”Biden announced Monday that he plans to appoint Boston-based Dr. Renee Wegrzyn as the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, a new agency established to drive biomedical innovation that supports the health of all Americans.Biden’s remarks will fall on the 60th anniversary of former President John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot” speech, which was delivered at Rice University in Houston. During that 1960 speech, Kennedy outlined his vision for putting the first man on the moon.The issue of cancer is personal for Biden, whose son Beau Biden died in 2015 of a brain tumor.”On behalf of our patients and their families, we are similarly meeting President Biden’s call to reduce cancer deaths with optimism and enthusiasm,” Glimcher said.According to Glimcher, there has been a 27% decline in cancer deaths between 1999 and 2019. She hopes that number will drop even more with Cancer Moonshot.Biden’s administration is already bolstering the groundwork for the Cancer Moonshot with key actions, including: 1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued more than $200 million in grants to advance national cancer prevention and control through cancer screening programs reaching every state, U.S. territories and tribal organizations.2. The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) launched a new, voluntary Enhancing Oncology Model designed to place cancer patients at the center of decision-making that provides equitable, evidence-based cancer care that is more affordable.3. The Department of Veterans Affairs proceeded on rulemaking to name eight rare respiratory cancers to its list of presumed service-connected disabilities related to toxic exposure, and is now leading the implementation of the bipartisan PACT Act, so veterans with cancers and other diseases may now be eligible for health care and expedited disability claims.In the meantime, Glimcher said early cancer detection is key.”The missed, delayed or skipped screenings already are leading to later diagnosis,” Glimcher said.The National Cancer Institute said there have been more than 250 cancer research projects since 2017.Biden is scheduled to speak about Cancer Moonshot at the JFK Library at 4 p.m. Monday.At 12:45 p.m. Monday, Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks from Terminal E at Boston Logan International Airport, highlighting how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is already underway and delivering tangible results for communities across the country.

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President Joe Biden will speak at the JFK Library in Boston Monday afternoon about “Cancer Moonshot,” an initiative to end cancer as we know it.

The Cancer Moonshot mission started in 2016 when Biden, then vice president, led an effort to double the rate of progress against cancer.

Biden reignited the initiative during a White House event in February, setting new goals to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people, their families and caregivers who are living with and surviving cancer.

Dr. Laurie Glimcher, chief executive officer of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said Cancer Moonshot could change the lives of patients and their families.

“This is the future,” Glimcher said. “I think the Cancer Moonshot will help ensure that there is money and focus on important research and drug development to treat cancer.”

Biden announced Monday that he plans to appoint Boston-based Dr. Renee Wegrzyn as the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, a new agency established to drive biomedical innovation that supports the health of all Americans.

Biden’s remarks will fall on the 60th anniversary of former President John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot” speech, which was delivered at Rice University in Houston. During that 1960 speech, Kennedy outlined his vision for putting the first man on the moon.

The issue of cancer is personal for Biden, whose son Beau Biden died in 2015 of a brain tumor.

“On behalf of our patients and their families, we are similarly meeting President Biden’s call to reduce cancer deaths with optimism and enthusiasm,” Glimcher said.

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According to Glimcher, there has been a 27% decline in cancer deaths between 1999 and 2019. She hopes that number will drop even more with Cancer Moonshot.

Biden’s administration is already bolstering the groundwork for the Cancer Moonshot with key actions, including:

1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued more than $200 million in grants to advance national cancer prevention and control through cancer screening programs reaching every state, U.S. territories and tribal organizations.

2. The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) launched a new, voluntary Enhancing Oncology Model designed to place cancer patients at the center of decision-making that provides equitable, evidence-based cancer care that is more affordable.

3. The Department of Veterans Affairs proceeded on rulemaking to name eight rare respiratory cancers to its list of presumed service-connected disabilities related to toxic exposure, and is now leading the implementation of the bipartisan PACT Act, so veterans with cancers and other diseases may now be eligible for health care and expedited disability claims.

In the meantime, Glimcher said early cancer detection is key.

“The missed, delayed or skipped screenings already are leading to later diagnosis,” Glimcher said.

The National Cancer Institute said there have been more than 250 cancer research projects since 2017.

Biden is scheduled to speak about Cancer Moonshot at the JFK Library at 4 p.m. Monday.

At 12:45 p.m. Monday, Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks from Terminal E at Boston Logan International Airport, highlighting how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is already underway and delivering tangible results for communities across the country.

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