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November 7, 2017

Lancet Oncology Special Report

Last week, Lancet Oncology released a special report, "Future Cancer Research Priorities in the USA: A Lancet Oncology Commission." As co-author of this report, I joined fellow cancer research experts across the nation to lay out a detailed roadmap to deliver on the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations. 
 
On a related note, the evening of November 3, 2017, I was honored to be with former Vice President Joe Biden, who received the United Nations Day Humanitarian of the Year Award from the  United Nations Association of New York for his work inspiring what is now known as the Biden Cancer Initiative. Mr. Youngsuk Chi, Chairman of Elsevier, was also honored. 

About six of the co-authors of the Lancet report were in attendance along with 500 benefactors to hear Joe praise the work of the Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, the authors of the new report, and the work of the Biden Cancer Initiative. He spoke about the need for us  to be "unwilling to postpone" progress that can be made, and be undeterred by a short circuit of barriers, and institutional and national regulatory barriers to translating cancer discovery towards patient benefit.

Building upon progress set in motion by the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, the new Lancet report seeks to prioritize recommendations based on biggest potential impact. I would like to call your attention to several items. 
 
First, the report is an extensive blueprint covering all aspects of cancer research across the spectrum of prevention, lifestyle risk reduction, early detection, vaccinations, basic pathways of cancer discovery, multimodality treatment for early and late stage disease, and long-term survivorship. It is augmented by a call for better access to clinical trials, improved data sharing, accelerating new therapeutic development and FDA approval, and improved care and survivorship.

Second, our cancer center is fully invested in these initiatives and is right in the mix.  As you will see, you can find your place in the scope and in the recommendations - and you will notice that many of the items covered reflect our own strategic plan and our priorities.

Third, you will notice that we too experience some of the problems: lack of universal consent; lack of comprehensive tissue storage and access; delays in drug development; insufficient resources to pursue high impact science; and inefficient approaches to clinical trials.

Fourth, please have a look at Panel 22 ( Research priorities-a call for action) and Part 16 ( Summary and call for action).  I was asked to review all of the priorities noted throughout the blueprint to highlight the essential top line priorities and to develop metrics and measures of success statements for each. Our center can play a role in each.

I look forward to all of our involvement in this effort. It represents the maturation of the initial Blue Ribbon Panel and reflects the collective wisdom of many leaders in the field. It will also be the focus of developing additional philanthropic resources, collaborative efforts with governmental efforts and with developing technologies within the biotech and bioinformatics corporate space, and likely help orient disease advocacy groups.

We all need to be aware of these trends so our research proposals can take advantage of these areas of interest.