Biden presents plan to halve cancer death rate

Senior administration officials said Tuesday night, on condition of anonymity, that the White House would not announce new funding commitments, but insisted there would be “robust funding” going forward. Biden called on Congress to allocate funds to establish a health research initiative modeled on the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency known as DARPA.

The White House labeled the event as another push for the president to “reboot” the moonshot program and “end cancer as we know it.” In particular, Mr. Biden set a target of reducing the age-adjusted death rate by more than half over the next 25 years. But there were few details about how that goal would be achieved.

“These are bold goals, and I have no doubt that there will be mechanisms for achieving them,” said Ellen V. Sigal, the founder of Friends of Cancer Research, which supports cancer research and provides new therapies to patients, who was briefed on the planning.

Biden has already named Danielle Carnival, who worked on the moonshot program during the Obama administration, to oversee the new version of the effort. Now, the president said, the “cancer cabinet” will coordinate the work of multiple government agencies.

The White House says more than 9.5 million cancer screenings have been missed in the United States as a result of the pandemic. Biden is calling on the Cancer Institute, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, to partner with cancer treatment centers to offer screenings across the country, and to develop a program to help develop tests that can detect multiple types. accelerate. of cancer at once.

The new blood tests that would detect all cancers are still unproven and there are currently no plans to do the kind of very large studies that could determine whether they actually prevent deaths and harm people with unnecessary treatment. But companies interested in it were excited about Mr Biden’s announcement.

New developments in cancer research

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Progress in the field. In recent years, advances in research have changed the way cancer is treated. Here are some recent updates:

Chemotherapy. A quiet revolution is underway in cancer treatment: a growing number of patients, especially those with breast and lung cancer, are sparing the dreaded treatment in favor of other options.

Leukemia. After receiving a new treatment called CAR T-cell therapy more than a decade ago, two patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia saw the blood cancer disappear. Their cases offer hope for people with the disease and create some new mysteries.

esophageal cancer. Nivolumab, a drug that unleashes the immune system, was found to extend survival times in patients with the disease who participated in a large clinical trial. Esophageal cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the world.

“Making early cancer detection more affordable and accessible, especially for traditionally disadvantaged groups, is the next step in reducing cancer death rates,” Francis deSouza, the CEO of Illumina, a medical device company, said in a statement. .

This post Biden presents plan to halve cancer death rate

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