I recently returned home from the American Association of Cancer Researchers (AACR) annual meeting held in New Orleans, La. The meeting was, as usual fantastic, but this years conclusion was by far the best I have experienced. The meeting’s closing session was reserved for remarks about the cancer “moonshot” initiative from Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden had initially talked about a moonshot for cancer following the death of his son Beau from stage 4 glioblastoma last year, but it was President Obama who formally announced it as a national priority at the State of the Union address in January and put Biden “in charge of mission control.”
I had the good fortune to have had a seat in the front row and was able to look up at the Vice President and see every facial response he made. The Vice President was introduced by his wife Jill Biden, a breast cancer survivor herself.
Biden opened by saying that he wasn’t sure if acting NCI director Douglas Lowy, MD was happy with the President’s decision to appoint him to be in charge of the Moon Shot Program.
However, the Vice President quickly launched into his plans to realign incentives and encourage collaboration between cancer researchers. He pointed out that the field is on the cusp of a real inflection point (a term he used on three separate occasions in his speech) in the war on cancer. He restated that he and Presi