Established in 2016, the Beau Biden Cancer MoonshotSM was created with the goal of accelerating ten years' worth of progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in just five years. A group of research experts, patient advocates, and government and private sector representatives was convened to form a Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) to develop recommendations for accelerating research progress. Working groups in seven key areas focused on identifying opportunities and impediments with input from stakeholders. The BRP released a report detailing 10 transformative research recommendations that, if implemented, could reduce the burden of cancer in the United States. These included the areas of clinical trials, data sharing, cancer immunology, implementation science, pediatric cancer, precision prevention and early detection, and tumor evolution and progression.
Reducing cancer disparities is a cross-cutting theme at the forefront of the BRP recommendations. The BRP recommendations consider disparities across a range of research areas, including reducing barriers to participation in and access to clinical trials through the engagement of diverse populations; expanding the use of proven prevention and early-detection strategies to all populations, including urban poor and rural communities; and educating and increasing access to genetic testing and counseling for those at high risk for inherited cancers regardless of socioeconomic or insurance status. Recommendations involving the collection of biospecimens and the expansion of biobanks and databases also have emphasis on including as many diverse patients and samples as possible.
When Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016, $1.8 billion in funding was authorized for the Cancer Moonshot over the next 7 years. An initial $300 million was appropriated for fiscal year 2017. NCI is implementing the recommendations through new research initiatives designed to accelerate our understanding of cancer. The Moonshot Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) will encourage applicants to consider integrating health disparities into their research efforts. Some examples include access to care through an emerging technologies effort, dissemination and implementation of effective strategies to reduce health disparities and improve quality in underserved populations, and improving smoking-cessation efforts in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. By integrating health disparities into the objectives of the Cancer Moonshot, there is an opportunity to reduce cancer disparities across the cancer continuum in an accelerated time frame.
Citation Format: Sonia Rosenfield, Amy E. Kennedy, Diane Palmieri, L. Michelle Bennett. Advancing cancer health disparities research through the Beau Biden Cancer MoonshotSM [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Tenth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2017 Sep 25-28; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2018;27(7 Suppl):Abstract nr B51.