AACR Leaders on Board with Cancer Moonshot Summit Actions

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), and President Nancy Davidson, MD, participated in the historic Cancer Moonshot Summit hosted by the White House June 29, and contributed to the national dialogue on how to accelerate progress toward ending cancer as part of a national day of action.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Closing Plenary Session at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2016 in New Orleans on April 20. Photo by © AACR/Todd Buchanan 2016
Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Closing Plenary Session at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2016 in New Orleans on April 20. Photo by © AACR/Todd Buchanan 2016

“It was very inspiring to be part of an event that brought together over 300 patient advocates and survivors, researchers, physician-scientists, philanthropists, and experts in all areas and sectors that are integral to advances against cancer, including big data and new technologies, to share new ideas and perspectives about how to carry out Vice President Joe Biden’s vision of bringing about a doubling of progress against cancer in five years. His vision is our vision, and it was heartwarming to see so much excitement about how to make a quantum leap in reducing cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality. Synergies across the sectors in the field were obvious, and it was thrilling to be there to observe it firsthand,” said Foti.

Biden met with researchers, oncologists and other care providers, data and technology experts, patients, families, and patient advocates, among others, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. They were joined by more than 6,000 individuals at events in all 50 states. In conjunction with the summit, the vice president announced a set of new public and private sector actions to drive progress “toward ending cancer as we know it.”

“It was a great honor to spend the day with so many smart, passionate, and energetic minds focused on cancer. I was inspired by the urgency and commitment conveyed by Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden and thrilled to hear about some of the new initiatives and partnerships that have already been forged. I am so pleased to have represented AACR members at this watershed event along with our CEO, Marge Foti. Key take home words – collaboration, acceleration, urgency,” said Davidson, who is also director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

According to the White House, this was the first time a group this expansive and diverse met under a government charge to double the rate of progress in “our understanding, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care of cancer.”

Foti and Davidson’s participation in the summit followed an AACR congressional briefing held June 28 about the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The briefing featured National Cancer Institute’s acting director Douglas Lowy, MD, and five early-career investigators who provided their fresh perspectives on areas of needed focus to achieve the Cancer Moonshot’s goal of accomplishing a decade’s worth of progress in five years. The briefing was broadcast live on Facebook, and can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/aacr.org/videos/10154354430633631/

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