'Ending Cancer as We Know It': Bidens Launch New Initiative

Roxanne Nelson, BSN, RN

June 28, 2017

When the Cancer Moonshot initiative was launched, former US vice president Joe Biden was at "mission control." And now he and his wife, Dr Jill Biden, are all set for another launch — the Biden Cancer Initiative.

Announced on June 26 at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in New York City, the new venture will build on the progress that has already been made during the last year under the Moonshot program.  

"We have launched the Biden Cancer Initiative to join world-leading experts and the entire cancer community to bring the urgency of today to doubling the rate of progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and care, with the patient at the center of our focus," said Mr Biden.

"We must change the culture — in research labs and cancer hospitals, insurance companies and the biopharmaceutical industry, philanthropy and advocacy, and the federal agencies — and come together to break down silos and form new collaborations to bring new hope to patients and their families," he noted.

The Bidens hope to "inject a sense of urgency" into cancer research and care systems, as well as "reimagine" how all players, including government, academia, nonprofits, and the private sector can improve collaboration and keep the focus on the patient. But primarily, the initiative will be "a major convening force in driving new actions and collaborations toward ending cancer as we know it," Mr Biden commented.

The Biden Cancer Initiative will be guided by a board of directors and co-chaired by both Joe and Jill Biden. The board will include leaders and experts from a wide range of disciplines, including medical research, patient care, information technology, finance, management, patient engagement, patient experience, and public policy.  

"We must share data and knowledge, collaborate, bring patients into the design of our research and care systems, ensure access to the best in care for all people, reduce disparities in cancer outcomes for certain communities, put progress ahead of personal gain, find new solutions and disseminate them widely and do everything we can to spare people the pain we experienced, that Beau experienced," Mr Biden emphasized.

"There isn't a moment to spare. Let's get to work," he said.

In a statement, Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, president of the American Association for Cancer Research, noted that the former vice president "will now be able to take his extraordinary passion and ability to inspire people to another level as he continues the momentum he began in January 2016 to make a major positive difference for cancer patients and their loved ones worldwide."

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