The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance has partnered with SERMO through our SERMO Pages platform to educate and engage with doctors around the world about this rare cancer, new treatments and survivor stories. In preparation for Mesothelioma Awareness Day on September 26, they’ve also shared how the Cancer Moonshot is benefitting research and patients with this and other rare cancers. To read more about SERMO pages, click here for more information or email info [at] sermo [dot] com.
The Cancer Moonshot 2020
In 1969, the United States became the first country to have a man walk on the moon. We have been a nation that pioneers initiatives to help further the education of our people and the understanding of the world around us. President Obama tasked Vice President Joe Biden with creating another such initiative to complete another feat: find a cure for cancer.
What is the moonshot?
The Cancer Moonshot is meant to be an accelerated effort by a collection of agencies to increase the amount of research being delegated to the early detection, treatment, and prevention of cancer and to allow the free flow of information and data collected between these organizations. With this collaboration, data will be more available to be used by doctors, research and academic organizations, advocates and patients themselves.
According to a memorandum released by the White House, the Moonshot Task Force consists of agencies such as:
- The Department of Defense
- The Department of Health and Human Services
- The Department of Energy
- The Department of Veterans Affairs
- The Office of Science and Technology Policy
- The Food and Drug Administration
- The National Cancer Institute (NCI)
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- The National Science Foundation
Open access of this information will not only allow the various partnering organizations to use the data found by others, but it will enable doctors to communicate more effectively and share findings with their patients. In turn, patients will have more access to information on their own. This means that doctors will be able to advocate more effectively for their patients and patients for themselves regarding the types of treatment plans that they pursue.
What does it mean for rare cancers?
For rare cancers, like mesothelioma, sarcomas, leukemia, and lymphoma, the Moonshot will be groundbreaking. At present, cancers that affect a small percentage of the population often don’t receive as much research funding as those that are more well known. For mesothelioma patients, the Moonshot could provide hope.
The increased research on alternative treatments like immunotherapy could allow patients of rare cancers and allow them to continue where traditional treatment may not have been the best course of action. Even now, treatments like Keytruda and Opdivo are already paving the way for helping mesothelioma patients in clinical trials.