In 2016, the US Congress authorized the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot with $1.8 billion in funding over 7 years to accelerate research in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. This program has successfully funded over 240 research projects and 70 programs in cancer research priority areas, which resulted in the formation of collaborative groups that have made remarkable strides in cancer care.
In the haematology-oncology field, significant advancements have been made in translational research, specifically in childhood cancers. Preclinical immunotherapy research has been focused on overcoming major barriers that have hindered the development of effective immunotherapies for children and adolescents with cancer.
In February 2022, President Biden announced a reignition of the Cancer Moonshot, with a new goal to reduce the cancer death rate by half within 25 years and improve the lives of people with cancer and cancer survivors. In March 2023, President Biden asked Congress for more than $2.8 billion in the federal budget to advance the Moonshot’s goals.
This round of funding will focus on improving screening programs, increasing the pipeline of cancer drugs and access to clinical trials, ensuring equitable access to standards of care, and enhancing diversity in the cancer workforce.
Improving access to specialist care, targeted therapies, and the development of immunotherapies will improve outcomes for the haematology-oncology community. Despite the significant progress made by the original Cancer Moonshot program, the high death rate associated with cancer remains.
With the next round of Moonshot funding focused on screening and patient access to care, there is hope for improvements in these areas.