On Friday, Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center is announcing its “Moon Shots Program,” CNN reported. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s bold promise that the United States would reach the moon before the end of the 60s, the program aims to significantly reducing the number of deaths from a handful of cancers by the end of this decade.
Dr. Ronald DePinho, president of the large cancer treatment and research center, described the project as having two purposes. “One is to apply the existing knowledge, to make a near-term impact in this decade,” he said. “The second is to also say, ‘We do not know everything we need to know to ultimately cure the disease.'”
The center describes the program as “an unprecedented effort to dramatically accelerate the pace of converting scientific discoveries into clinical advances that reduce cancer deaths.”
“The Moon Shots Program signals our confidence that the path to curing cancer is in clearer sight than at any other time in history,” DePinho says.
The program will specifically focus on the following five types of cancer: lung cancer, melanoma, triple negative breast cancer and ovarian, prostate cancer and actute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome & chronic lymphocytic leukemia (blood cancers).
These types of cancers were chosen by a panel of 25 experts based on current knowledge about treatment, prevention, survivorship and likelihood of reducing the number of deaths.
The cancer center is backing this project with a $3 billion investment over the next decade.
“Those funds will come from institutional earnings, philanthropy, competitive research grants and commercialization of new discoveries,” said DePinho.
The project is scheduled to launch in February 2013.
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