Cancer 'moonshot' panel says immune therapies may be key

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Cancer 'moonshot' panel says immune therapies may be key

por Thomas Dworetzky, Contributing Reporter | September 09, 2016
Rad Oncology
• Predict response to standard treatments through retrospective analysis of patient specimens.
• Create dynamic 3-D maps of human tumor evolution to document the genetic lesions and cellular interactions of each tumor as it evolves from a precancerous lesion to advanced cancer.
• Develop new enabling cancer technologies to characterize tumors and test therapies.

The recommendations met with the support of many in the cancer field.

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"The recommendations that were announced today by the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel are vitally important to accomplishing the goal of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, which is to achieve a decade's worth of advances in five years," AACR President, Dr. Nancy E. Davidson, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, said in a statement. "Therefore, the AACR calls on Congress and the administration to begin the work of finding a path forward for securing the funding necessary to support these significant scientific opportunities, which ultimately will make a major difference for cancer patients and their loved ones."

The report comes at a time of ongoing budget conflicts in Congress, which some commentators noted. "The recommendations could significantly expedite our nation's progress against cancer if implemented,” noted Dr. Daniel F. Hayes, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

“For this to happen," he added, "it is crucial that Congress provide the necessary funding to support the priority projects identified by the Blue Ribbon Panel and those we will hear about from the Task Force and vice president's executive reports later this year."

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) applauded the panel for including recommendations on supporting the development of new cancer technologies to accelerate testing of therapies and characterization of tumors.

"The medical technology industry contributes roughly $2 billion annually to the R&D that is producing products and technologies that support the diagnosis and treatment of people living with cancer," said Scott Whitaker, president and CEO of AdvaMed. "AdvaMed and AdvaMedDx member companies stand ready to support the recommendations by continuing to develop the much-⁠needed technologies necessary to improve cancer treatment and care," Whitaker said.

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