Cancer Moonshot 2020
Cancer Moonshot 2020 is a new initiative aimed to end cancer as we know it. Led by Vice President Joe Biden, Cancer Moonshot 2020 aims to break down barriers and enable progress by enhancing data access, facilitating collaborations, and investing in the development of new technologies and treatments.
While the $1 billion announced to fund this initiative is a large figure on its own, the effort will need to hyper-focus its resources and influence to make a meaningful impact. In this issue, we explore some practical ways that Cancer Moonshot 2020 can make good on its promise to improve outcomes for patients everywhere.
The single most important factor for a patient’s prognosis is at what stage cancer is diagnosed. For example, the 5-year relative survival rate for breast cancer is 100% at Stage I and only 22% at Stage IV. However, at least half of all cancers in the U.S. are diagnosed in stage III or IV. Cancer Moonshot 2020 could improve early detection by investing in new technologies for early detection and screening.
The cost to develop a new cancer drug can range from $350 million to over $5 billion in some cases. Therefore, aiding the development of new therapies will take more than just money. Cancer Moonshot 2020 can best improve new drug development by influencing regulatory agencies like the FDA to rethink how we evaluate therapeutics. Experts believe patients will benefit most from combination therapies that target multiple aspects of cancer. Thus, regulatory agencies must learn to judge the value of therapeutic in both the single-agent and combination settings.
The battle between cancer and the immune system is a complex mix of activity and inhibition. Thus, the key to improving patient outcomes is to combine treatments that stimulate the immune system and limit the tumor’s ability to evade immune detection. Cancer Moonshot 2020 could help by breaking down barriers to collaboration and influencing regulatory agencies to favor combination therapies. Rational combinations, like the work coming from OncoSec Medical Incorporated, have the potential to change how we treat cancer. This initiative has the power to support these approaches and do a great deal of good.