In 2016, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) had initiated the Cancer Moonshot to accelerate cancer preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic innovations and medical products development; encourage collaborations and improve data sharing in the vast and dynamic field of cancer research. Cancer Moonshot was named in the memory of President John F. Kennedy’s inspirational speech in 1962 to win a space race against the Soviet Union to land the first man on the moon. Seven years later, Neil Armstrong set the first human footprint on the moon and marked the beginning of a new age. Scientists are looking forward to taking the next giant leap for mankind to win the fight against cancer.
In the United States, cancer is the leading cause of death. The most prevalent types are breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and melanoma as reported by NCI. The Moonshot task force had established a blue-ribbon panel with the leading oncologists, clinicians, bioinformaticians, cancer advocacy groups and pharmaceutical company representatives to outline research recommendations. The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is participating in multiple Moonshot projects to build translational Immuno-Oncology network and to encourage direct patient involvement. The blue-ribbon experts are developing the Human Tumor Atlas Network (HTAN) to build 3D tumor maps that will help in understanding how cells interact and tumors grow from lesions to malignancy. The Moonshot is also aiming to improve smoking cessation programs and health awareness in low-income populations with inadequate health care coverage. The US senate had approved the 21st Century Cures Act to support Moonshot projects with a funding of $1.8 billion over seven years.
NCI is hosting the Symposium on Personal Control of Genomic Data for Research on September 26-27, 2019 at Masur Auditorium in NIH Bethesda Campus under the auspices of the Cancer Moonshot. The symposium will focus on genomic data sharing in research and patient engagement. Registration is free and open to all. Please, visit the links to register for in-person or WebEx attendance, submit your abstract or send an email to NCIParticipantShareData@mail.nih.gov for further information.