June 29th, 2016 was Cancer Moonshot day. Over 270 summits across the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam were held. These events initiated the conversation and collaboration between scientists, advocates, researchers, physicians, genetic counselors, politicians, oncologists, nurses, data and technology experts, and patients among others. The goal of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative is to double our progress in finding cures for cancer; to achieve a decade's amount of progress in 5 years.
Vice President Joe Biden was named the leader of this initiative by President Obama and gave his final State of the Union address to kick off all the summits. He stressed the urgency of the project, the importance of collaborating and communicating, and how crucial it is for us to learn from each other.
He expressed the complexity of cancer and how it is not one disease, “There are over 200 distinct types of cancer, a complicated disease to treat and understand.” The Vice President painted a picture of a future if this initiative is a success, “Imagine when the thread of cancer is a distant memory. when kids can be vaccinated for cancers”.
Our #hcchat tweetchat, with our brilliant co-hosts Georgia Hurst and Amy Byer Shainman, discussed the Cancer Moonshot with Dr. Vincent DeVita, the Chief of Medicine at NCI during Nixon's Cancer Act. We asked Dr. DeVita a series of questions to hear his expertise then opened to audience members to ask questions.
#Hcchat is now evolving into #GenCSM which will expand to cover genetic cancer social media along with hereditary cancer.
Question 1: How did you feel about Nixon's Act when it was first proposed?
Question 2: Who was Mary Lasker and how did she change your mind about the Cancer Act?
Question 3: Would you say that Nixon's Cancer Act was a success? Why?
Question 4: How is the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative to accelerate cancer research different/similar to Nixon’s act?
Question 5: What was the most important thing you learned from working on Nixon's Initiative that could be helpful to the Moonshot?
Question 6: What are the greatest challenges facing the Moonshot?
Question 7: How crucial is data sharing to the success of the Moonshot?
Question 8: What would be realistic expectations of the Moonshot?
Question 9: People still believe that we can cure #cancer, as though it’s one disease. What would be a more accurate goal?
Dr. Vincent DeVita answered questions from the audience...
Read the full transcript here or search #Hcchat on Twitter. Have a question or comment you didn't get to contribute? Please post in the comments below.