President Barack Obama launched the Cancer Moonshot Initiative on January 12 during his State of the Union Address. Vice President Joe Biden, who lost his son Beau to brain cancer in 2015, was asked to the lead the initiative, which works with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to increase research funding and accelerate cancer discoveries. With unprecedented collaboration, researchers, oncologists, care providers, philanthropists, data and tech experts, advocates, patients and survivors are coming together to achieve the goal of doubling the rate of progress toward a cure for cancer.
The Cancer Support Community and our affiliates were proud to host 30 of the 100 Cancer Moonshot summits which took place on Wednesday, June 29, in our centers across the country. We answered the call to action, and were thrilled to give so many patients and caregivers the opportunity to share their stories and insights. These summits emphasized the need to elevate the patient voice and ensure that patients are educated, empowered and partners in their healthcare.
On June 27, 2017, one year after President Obama and Vice President Biden launched the Cancer Moonshot, hundreds of partners convened to assess their accomplishments and understand what barriers they must continue to address. The Cancer Moonshot: One Year Later meeting was held by the Cancer Support Community, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, CancerCare, Friends of Cancer Research, LIVESTRONG Foundation, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, and National Patient Advocate Foundation.
One of the themes of the Moonshot Initiative is collaboration. Our recently launched Clinical Trials program was developed in collaboration with 20 organizations around the country. We firmly believe, and research supports, that one of the most effective ways to advance innovation for all patients is through participation in clinical trials. Today only 3-4 percent of eligible cancer patients participate in a clinical trial. This program aims to change that.
Frankly Speaking About Cancer Clinical Trials is a comprehensive, multi-media patient and caregiver education program designed by patients, for patients. The program works to dispel the myths about clinical trials and to encourage patients to become active participants and partners in their care. If the goal of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative is to double the rate of progress toward a cure, then we need to at least double the participation rate in patients enrolling in clinical trials. Increasing participation in cancer clinical trials will ultimately lead to advancements in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and quality of life.