Vice President’s Office Meets With Experts on Plan to Cure Cancer

January 15, 2016

The future of cancer research is the focus of new attention, following Vice President Joe Biden’s “moon shot” vision to find a cure for the disease.

Members of the American Association for Cancer Research met with Biden’s office earlier this month and pushed for the federal government to help set up an infrastructure for interaction between the centers in the U.S. that obtain genomic, genetic and clinical information from cancer patients.

The effort would allow for all of the information that is generated nationwide to be pooled together in large database so individuals can share it, says Victor Velculescu, an AACR board member and co-director of Cancer Biology at John’s Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

AACR members also met with the FDA earlier this month to discuss next-generation sequencing, laboratory-developed tests and companion diagnostics. The meeting comes in the wake of concern over how easy or difficult it will be to use the products in the context of FDA rules, Velculescu tells IDDM.

Biden — who lost his son to brain cancer last year — has vowed to increase the amount of resources devoted to fighting cancer, calling for collaboration and information sharing. “The goal of this initiative is simple — to double the rate of progress. To make a decade worth of advances in five years,” he said. — Jonathon Shacat