In his final State of the Union address, President Obama announced a new “moonshot” initiative aimed at making cancer a thing of the past. Vice President Biden is leading this national effort with an ultimate goal to double the rate of progress towards cancer cures, making a decade’s worth of progress in the next five years. The Foundation is highly supportive of this initiative that aligns well with our mission to bring focused ultrasound for the treatment of cancer to patients as quickly as possible.
A major emphasis of the Moonshot initiative has been to break down silos that are impediments to progress in cancer research in order to promote collaboration and data sharing among multiple stakeholders including researchers, clinicians, industry, government and patients. The Foundation works hard to do just that with the growing community active in focused ultrasound research. There are several ways in which the Foundation is contributing to the Moonshot.
- We foster collaboration within the focused ultrasound community and beyond through working groups and consortium projects in specific research areas such as focused ultrasound for immunotherapy of cancer.
- We organize workshops to bring together multidisciplinary groups of researchers to share ideas and form collaborative projects that advance focused ultrasound for treatment of specific cancers, such as glioblastomas, or that harness the technology’s ability to amplify the immune response or enhance the delivery of chemotherapy.
- Almost half of the scientific sessions at the 5th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound were dedicated to cancer topics. Watch as Greg Simon, Executive Director of the Cancer Moonshot, speaks at the meeting >
- We are organizing and funding clinical trials using focused ultrasound to treat tumors including those of the brain, head and neck, and thyroid. In addition, we support pre-clinical projects using focused ultrasound’s mechanisms of enhanced immune response and drug delivery to treat glioblastomas and metastatic cancers (e.g. pancreatic, breast, melanoma).
- We raise awareness of focused ultrasound and foster collaboration among a wide group of stakeholders including patients, clinicians, industry, payers, government, foundations and philanthropists.
- We multiply our impact through partnerships with like-minded foundations such as the Cancer Research Institute and the Melanoma Research Alliance.
- Foundation Chairman Dr. Neal Kassell is serving on the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel and helping to develop recommendations for the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot Task Force.