In his State of the Union address last week, US President Barack Obama announced a new “moonshot” initiative to make cancer a thing of the past.
Vice President Joe Biden will lead this effort, a cornerstone of his final year in office (and beyond). The Foundation is highly supportive of the initiative, which aligns well with our emphasis on advancing focused ultrasound as a therapeutic modality for cancer.
We look forward to engaging with the Vice President’s team to educate them on the unique role of focused ultrasound as a multipurpose tool for enhancing immunotherapy, localizing the delivery of chemotherapy, and offering less invasive tumor treatment. Biden is already aware of our work–he visited the 2014 Focused Ultrasound Symposium and will be invited to return this year.
As the moonshot initiative gains momentum, Biden and his staff are meeting with stakeholders to assess the landscape and determine where their efforts can make the most impact. Although plans are still being defined, the initiative intends to focus on breaking down silos to enable better collaboration and data sharing among researchers and clinicians. Targeted funding aimed at accelerating promising treatments–such as immunotherapy–and policies to increase patient access to new therapies will also be considered.
We will continue to advance research in these areas and multiply our impact through partnerships with like-minded foundations such as the Cancer Research Institute and the Melanoma Research Alliance. We are excited to foster new collaborations and help advance focused ultrasound to become a mainstream treatment for a variety of cancers.