Is Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot too big to work?

Vice President Joe Biden is spearheading the National Cancer Moonshot, an initiative to accelerate cancer research and improve cancer treatments. It's a lofty goal, one that may be too broad to be effective, suggests Anil Adyanthaya, an attorney in Massachusetts, in a STAT article.

Mr. Adyanthaya compares the Cancer Moonshot to the original moonshot initiated by President John F. Kennedy of putting a man on the moon by 1969. He writes the Cancer Moonshot does not have the singular focus of the original, which limits its potential to be accomplished.

How could Vice President Biden make the Cancer Moonshot more achievable? Mr. Adyanthaya suggests he focus on a particular kind of cancer, specifically a pediatric brain cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

DIPG has a five-year survival rate of close to zero. It's a rare cancer, affecting fewer than 400 children in the U.S. a year, according to the report, and as such it receives little attention and funding. But channeling all the Cancer Moonshot's focus on DIPG could help find a treatment for all cancer, suggests Mr. Adyanthaya.

He spoke with the medical advisors of  The Cure Starts Now, a foundation focused on DIPG, who said finding a cure for this type of pediatric brain cancer could be a "home run cure" that could be effective for all cancer since DIPG is resistant to all current treatments, according to the report.

"Focusing the billion-dollar cancer moonshot on curing one cancer that so far cannot be successfully treated with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy would demonstrate the same 'dedication, organization and discipline' that took mankind to such literal and figurative heights in 1969," Mr. Adyanthaya writes.

More articles on the Cancer Moonshot:

Biden threatens to cut funding to research institutions that don't publish clinical trial data 
Elsevier, Cancer Moonshot to team up on developing national benchmarking report 
FDA names Dr. Richard Padzur head of Cancer Moonshot's Oncology Center of Excellence 

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