President Obama recently signed a memorandum formally establishing a White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force to coordinate and strengthen federal and private efforts to support cancer research and treatment. The Task Force, which is chaired by Vice President Biden, is charged with developing recommendations to:
- accelerate understanding of cancer and its prevention, early detection, treatment, and cure;
- improve patient access and care;
- support greater access to new research, data, and computational capabilities; encourage development of cancer treatments;
- identify and address any unnecessary regulatory barriers and consider ways to expedite administrative reforms;
- ensure optimal investment of federal resources; and
- identify opportunities to develop public-private partnerships and increase coordination of the federal government’s efforts with the private sector, as appropriate.
The first meeting of the Task Force was held on February 1, 2016. Also on February 1, the White House called for a $1 billion investment in the Cancer Moonshot initiative, including $195 million in new cancer activities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal year (FY) 2016, new Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs research initiatives, and additional proposals to be included in the President’s proposed FY 2017 budget.