Cancer Moonshot Panel Releases List of Top 10 Ways to Fight Cancer

The Cancer Moonshot Initiative’s Blue Ribbon Panel, a 28-member panel of advisers that includes top cancer researchers and patient advocates, presented a report to the National Cancer Advisory Board that included 10 transformative research recommendations to meet the initiative’s goal of improving prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer over the next five years. The report was accepted and sent to a Cancer Moonshot task force headed by Vice President Biden and composed of almost two dozen officials from federal agencies and departments.

The recommendations include:

  1. Establishing a network for direct patient involvement that encourages patients to engage and contribute to their comprehensive tumor profile data to expand knowledge about what therapies work, in whom, and in which types of cancer.
  2. Creating a clinical trials network devoted exclusively to discovering and evaluating immunotherapy approaches.
  3. Developing ways to overcome cancer’s resistance to therapy by identifying therapeutic targets through studies that determine the mechanisms that lead cancer cells to become resistant to previously effective treatments.
  4. Building a national cancer data ecosystem for sharing and analyzing cancer data so that researchers, clinicians, and patients can contribute data.
  5. Intensifying research on the major drivers of pediatric cancers to improve the understanding of fusion oncoproteins and use new preclinical models to develop inhibitors that target them.
  6. Minimizing cancer treatments’ debilitating side effects by accelerating the development of guidelines for routine monitoring and management of patient-reported symptoms.
  7. Expanding the use of proven cancer prevention and early detection strategies to reduce cancer risk and cancer health disparities through approaches in development, testing, and broad adoption of these strategies.
  8. Mining past patient data to predict future patient outcomes to standard treatments.
  9. Developing a three-dimensional cancer atlas of human tumor evolution to document the genetic lesions and cellular interactions of each tumor as it evolves from a precancerous lesion to advanced cancer.
  10. Developing new cancer technologies to characterize tumors and test therapies.

The task force also is working on a report about what the government can do to support the Moonshot initiative.

View the complete Blue Ribbon Panel report.

Sources: National Cancer Institute, September 7, 2016; The Washington Post, September 7, 2016.