Proposed budget cuts to medical research have raised concerns among cancer research advocates who participated in the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting on April 3. The policy session’s keynote speaker Joe Biden, 47th Vice President of the United States, said it’s time to double down on research, not undercut progress. “We can fundamentally change the prospects and promise of life for tens of millions of people around the world,” he said.
The session titled The Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot: Progress and Promise included leaders from government, academia, industry and patient advocacy groups for a discussion about progress with the initiative.
Panelist Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS-03) said, “Cancer knows no political party and knows no region. It affects every street and every cul-de-sac in America and therefore it affects every member of Congress and their constituents.” He added that it is helpful for policymakers to hear personal stories from patient groups, what they went through and why research matters. For scientists, Yoder said it is important to hear about the exciting research being conducted and explain what is holding their work back.
Other panelists included Douglas Lowy, M.D., acting director, National Cancer Institute Michael Caligiuri, M.D., AACR president-elect, Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., AACR incoming president-elect, Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, Richard Pazdur, M.D., director, FDA Oncology Center of Excellence and Fran Drescher, actress and founder of Cancer Schmancer. AACR president Nancy Davidson, M.D., moderated the discussion.