Joe Biden Promotes New Tools for Cancer Researchers

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James Kaye, MD, DrPH, medical oncologist, hematologist, epidemiologist, and senior director of Epidemiology at RTI Health Solutions attended Vice President Joe Biden’s address to the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting Monday night. He shares his thoughts about Mr. Biden’s speech.

Common Goals of ASCO and Cancer MoonShot

Vice President Joe Biden understands the diversity of the hundreds of kinds of cancers, how oncologists and patients often have to confront uncertainty together, and the speed of recent developments like immunotherapy and genomic analysis. In Mr. Biden’s address at this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, he likened the meeting’s theme, "Collective Wisdom," to the goals of Cancer MoonShot 2020.

Referred to as "moonshot” by Biden, the program’s goals include creating incentives to increase collaboration among leading researchers and enhancing patient data standardization and sharing (while protecting privacy) to accelerate the pace of learning.

Central Repository for Cancer Research has been set up to serve as a central repository for information on programs and projects. Site visitors also have the opportunity to contribute ideas about furthering the fight against cancer.

Biden recently visited the University of Chicago where the cancer Genomic Data Commons database was just launched with support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This database will be publicly available and will contain data on cancer genomics from tumors of patients in all NCI sponsored clinical trials. Researchers around the world will also be able to upload information on their own patients' cancer genomes. Biden encouraged, "Imagine if you all worked together!"

He asked ASCO to expand its new clinical practice database, CancerLinQ, and to make it able to exchange information with other clinical databases. He is seeking to find more ways for patients to enter clinical trials to accelerate research progress. Very exciting!


Read current research about streamlining cancer research processes:

Midkiff KDAndrews EBGilsenan AW, Deapen M, Harris DH, Schymura MJ, Hornicek FJ. The experience of accommodating privacy restrictions during implementation of a large-scale surveillance study of an osteoporosis medication. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2016 Apr 19.

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