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In his seventh and last State of the Union address on January 12th, President Barack Obama announced a “moonshot” with the goal of making “America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”
The “moonshot” program is to be led by Vice President Joe Biden, whose son Beau died last May of brain cancer at the age of 46. Biden has been working with the National Institutes of Health and the Congress to increase funding for cancer research by $1 billion over five years. The goal of the program is to accelerate research to accomplish ten years of work in five years.
The cancer moonshot is predicated on the idea that recent advances in genomics and precision medicine have brought us to an “inflection point,” where game-changing progress is within reach. In order to unleash this progress, proponents argue, it is crucial to foster collaboration, rather than competition, between researchers and to promote the sharing of data in centralized databases to which qualified researchers have access.
There is good reason to be excited and optimistic about the promise of new approaches to treatment involving the targeting of specific mutations that appear to drive the growth of specific cancers. However, in time cancer cells tend to become resistant to the specific drug and devise ways to break out.
Read full, original post: A ‘Cancer Moonshot’ Is The Wrong Analogy