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  • Washington Highlights

    White House Announces $1 Billion for Cancer Moonshot

    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

    President Obama and Vice President Biden Feb. 1 convened the first meeting of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force [see Washington Highlights, Jan. 29].

    Following opening remarks from the president and vice president, participants discussed the Moonshot’s principles and pillars and federal efforts that can support the Cancer Moonshot, including updates on federal research and treatment development, data sharing, and technical and computational capabilities.

    The White House also announced the administration is launching the National Cancer Moonshot with a $1 billion initiative to provide the funding necessary for researchers to accelerate the development of new cancer detection and treatments.

    According to a White House fact sheet, this funding includes:

    • $195 million in new cancer activities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal year (FY) 2016; and
    • $755 million in mandatory funds for new cancer-related research activities at both NIH and the Food and Drug Administration proposed in the president’s FY 2017 budget.

    Within the Department of Health and Human Services, these investments will support cutting edge research opportunities such as:

    • Prevention and Cancer Vaccine Development;
    • Early Cancer Detection;
    • Cancer Immunotherapy and Combination Therapy;
    • Genomic Analysis of Tumor and Surrounding Cells;
    • Enhanced Data Sharing:
    • a virtual Oncology Center of Excellence at FDA;
    • Pediatric Cancer; and
    • the Vice President’s Exceptional Opportunities in Cancer Research Fund, which will focus on high-risk, high-return research identified by the collaborative work and new ideas stimulated by the research community as part of this work.

    In addition, the White House said the departments of Defense and the Veterans Affairs are increasing their investments in cancer research, including through funding Centers of Excellence focused on specific cancers, and conducting large longitudinal studies to help determine risk factors and enhance treatment.