White House Proposes $1 Billion for Cancer 'Moonshot'

Cancer 'Moonshot'

Jan. 13, 201601:30

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By Maggie Fox

The White House will propose spending close to $1 billion over the next two years on a “moonshot” to fight cancer, officials said Monday.

President Barack Obama will ask Congress for $755 million for fiscal year 2017, and will try to spend $195 million this year to get things started.

Obama announced the plan last month during his State of the Union address. The goal is to better coordinate research efforts to make inroads against the No. 2 killer in the U.S.

Cancer 'Moonshot'

Jan. 13, 201601:30

Most of the money will go to the National Institutes of Health, which pays for and conducts medical research, senior administration officials said. Obama's budget will also propose more money for the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“In fact, just today we announced a new $1 billion jumpstart to make sure some of the best work going on has the funding that it needs,” Vice President Joe Biden, who’s in overall charge of the program, said in a blog post.

Related: Obama Taps Biden for Ambitious Cancer Moonshot

“Because ultimately, as the federal government, our job is to break down silos and bring people together who are doing the most cutting-edge work.”

Areas of focus include:

  • Enhanced early detection and technology
  • Prevention and cancer vaccine development
  • Cancer immunotherapy and combination therapy
  • Genomic analysis
  • Enhanced data sharing
  • Pediatric cancer

The goal is to compress a decade’s worth of cancer research into five years and “eventually end cancer”, officials said.

Related: Nerdwatch on Cancer Moonshot

One early effort will be to get more cancer patients into clinical trials. These experiments test the latest therapies for cancer will offering the best available treatment as well. Only 5 percent of cancer patients enroll in clinical trials

Dr. Jose Baselga, Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and president of the American Association for Cancer Research, says such spending should be able to accomplish much more than in 1971, when then-president Richard Nixon declared a war on cancer.