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President Biden to bolster cancer moonshot with new programs

The White House is announcing hundreds of millions of dollars in private and government investment in hopes of cutting cancer deaths in half.
President Biden to bolster cancer moonshot with new programs
Posted at 11:37 AM, Sep 13, 2023

President Joe Biden will announce new actions as part of his cancer moonshot goal of reducing the cancer death rate in the U.S. by half by 2047. 

President Biden will assemble his Cancer Cabinet on Wednesday to announce several new initiatives. The White House says $240 million will be invested in research projects to prevent, detect, treat and survive cancer.  

The White House also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investing $15 million in programs to reduce the impact of menthol and other tobacco products. There will also be programs to increase smoking cessation resources for underserved communities. 

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health will also streamline biomedical data to allow researchers to more easily find the information they're looking for. 

"This initiative will pioneer prototype technologies capable of seamlessly searching cancer datasets to reveal opportunities for groundbreaking disease detection, prevention, and treatment, reduce the time needed to integrate new data sources from months to days, and improve data usability by the research community — so we can break down existing data silos and learn from the experiences of more patients," the White House said. 

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Additionally, the Biden administration says nongovernmental organizations will announce several initiatives tied to President Biden's cancer moonshot initiative. 

Among them, the HealthWell Foundation is set to provide more than $300 million to underinsured oncology patients to help offset out-of-pocket medication costs. 

CVS is also expected to expand its smoking cessation programs in a dozen states.

The American Cancer Society will create a new oncology professional navigator curricula and certification program to help cancer patients connect with the services they need. The American Cancer Society said it is "excited to support and advance" the cancer moonshot initiative. 

Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society noted that cancer mortality rates have dropped 33% in the U.S. since 1991, averting an estimated 3.8 million cancer deaths. 

President Biden’s son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Following his death, then-President Barack Obama tasked Biden with leading efforts to reduce cancer rates in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,603,844 new cancer cases were reported and 602,347 people died of cancer in 2020 in the United States.

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