Vice President Joe Biden has proposed a Cancer Moonshot initiative that lists research areas for which the administration desires funding. If Congress approves the project, the monetary outlay will be over and above current funds designated for cancer studies. The initiative’s goal entails expediting progress against the disease through focusing on topics scientists find most promising. Here are the areas of emphasis it enumerates.
- Immunotherapy: This treatment doesn’t involve the toxicity of chemotherapy, and it has shown value for some challenging types of cancer. The Moonshot has recommended a national clinical trial to determine why the intervention works for some patients but not for others.
- Genetics: Researchers believe genetics accounts for the differences in cancer aggressiveness and efficacy of treatment between patients. The initiative advocates the creation of a national network to file genetic profiles of tumors. This system would enable patients to share their data as well as volunteer for new clinical trial remediations that may help them.
While the above two areas represent the primary focal points, the project lists some additional topics of particular interest. These include a quest to uncover factors that drive childhood cancer along with ways to reduce the troubling side effects of treatment.
The Moonshot also proposes to perform genetic tests on newly diagnosed colon cancer patients. As inherited genetic mutations stimulate the development of 3 percent of these types of malignancies, family members of patients who have the defect could discover if they are at risk. For more information about this type of cancer, see Newly-Diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer? Ask Questions!
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