A Blue Ribbon Panel of experts from diverse healthcare fields has provided preliminary recommendations to achieve the objectives of the government's Cancer Moonshot initiative.
Direct patient engagement, developing a cancer immunotherapy clinical trial network, and providing support to manage patient-reported symptoms—these are some of the recommendations provided by an exclusive committee appointed to lead the White House's Cancer Moonshot initiative. The so-called Blue Ribbon Panel is a mix of scientific experts in biology, immunology, genomics, diagnostics, bioinformatics, and cancer prevention and treatment. Representatives from cancer advocacy groups and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry are also represented on this team.
In its preliminary report released today, the panel has underscored the importance of collaboration and integration across the healthcare system, merging science, technology, advocacy, and social science, to strengthen existing infrastructure and also to build new bridges. Under the combined leadership of Tyler Jacks, PhD, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Elizabeth Jaffee, MD, from Johns Hopkins University; and Dinah Singer, PhD, from the National Cancer Institute, the panel provides recommendations to the National Cancer Advisory Board on scientific opportunities that could accelerate the Cancer Moonshot initiative.
Seven working groups, with a similar diverse composition of experts from various fields, listed 2 to 3 significant research opportunities in the following areas:
With the objective of improving various aspects of these 7 areas, the following specific recommendations were made:
The working groups also made some policy recommendations including coverage and reimbursement, patient consent, fragmented care delivery, and barriers to data sharing.
The report provided health policy groups with evidence that can further their lobbying efforts to Congress to fund the Cancer Moonshot initiative.
“They needed to see a plan,"Jon Retzlaff, MBA, MPA, managing director of Science Policy and Government Affairs at the American Association for Cancer Research, told STAT. "Now it’s something that we can take to Capitol Hill. Here are projects that can be funded and should be funded and will help us get to where we need to go."
A final comprehensive report, which will help establish a cancer research agenda in the nation, is expected by the end of 2016.