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On the anniversary of Kennedy’s scintillating speech, Biden will advance the fight against cancer

President Joe Biden is set to channel John F. Kennedy on the 60th anniversary of the former president’s scintillating speech, as the incumbent tries to set the nation’s sights on “the ending” cancer as we know.”

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Biden was traveling to Boston on Monday to highlight a new federally-backed study that seeks to validate—using blood tests—to screen against multiple cancers—to dramatically improve early detection of cancer. A potential game-changer in clinical trials. He also planned other announcements to improve the lives of people living with cancer.

his speech in John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum comes as Biden wants to rally the nation to develop treatments and therapeutics for widespread diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ranks as the second biggest killer of people in America after heart disease. Biden is expected in February to move America closer to the goal he set to reduce US cancer deaths by 50% over the next 25 years and dramatically improve the lives of caregivers and people living with cancer. determined to do.

White House cancer moonshot coordinator Danielle Carnival told The Associated Press that the administration sees great potential to launch blood diagnostic studies to diagnose and treat cancer.

“One of the most promising technologies is the development of a blood test that holds the promise of detecting multiple cancers in a single blood test and really visualizing the impact that will have on our ability to detect cancers early and more equitably.” But maybe,” Carnival said. “We think the best way to get us to where they felt is to really test the technologies we have today and see what works and really has an impact on the extension of life.” “

In 2022, American Cancer Society It is estimated that 1.9 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 609,360 people will die from cancer diseases.

The issue is personal to Biden, who lost his adult son Beau for brain cancer in 2015. After Beau’s death, Congress passed 21st Century Cure ActWhich devoted $1.8 billion over seven years to cancer research and was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2016.

Obama nominated Biden, then-Vice President, to run “mission control” by running the Cancer Fund as a recognition of Biden’s grief as a parent and willingness to do something about it. Biden writes in his memoir “Promise me, dad” That he decided not to run for president in 2016 mainly because of Beau’s death.

Despite Biden’s efforts to back Kennedy and his space program, the current initiative lacks the same level of budgetary support. The Apollo program received massive public investment—more than $20 billion adjusted for inflation, or more than $220 billion in 2022 dollars. Biden’s “moonshot” effort is far more modest and dependent on private sector investment.

Still, Biden has tried to maintain momentum for investment in public health research, including championing Advanced Research Projects Agency for HealthModeled after similar research and development initiatives benefiting the Pentagon and the intelligence community.

On Monday, Biden will announce Dr. Renee Wegrzin, who has been tasked with studying treatments and potential cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases, as the inaugural director of ARPA-H. He will also announce a new National Cancer Institute Scholars Program to provide resources to early career scientists studying cancer treatment and cure.

Experts agree that it is too early to say whether these new blood tests to detect cancer in healthy people will have any effect on cancer deaths. No studies have been done to show that they reduce the risk of dying from cancer. Still, he says it’s important to set an ambitious goal.

said carnival National Cancer Institute The study was designed in such a way that any promising clinical results can be rapidly put into widespread practice, while longer-term studies – expected to last a decade – progress. He said the goal is to move closer to a future where cancer can be detected through routine blood work, potentially replacing more invasive and cumbersome procedures such as colonoscopies, and therefore saving lives.

Scientists now understand that cancer is not a single disease, but hundreds of diseases that respond differently to different treatments. Some cancers have biomarkers that can be targeted by existing drugs that will slow tumor growth. Many more targets await discovery.

“How do we learn which treatments are effective in which subtype of disease? That’s marine to me,” said Donald A. Berry, a biostatistician at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “The possibilities are huge. The challenges are huge.”

Despite the challenges, he is optimistic about halving cancer mortality in the next 25 years.

“We can achieve that 50% goal by sufficiently slowing the disease in various cancers without treating them,” Berry said. “If I bet on whether we’ll get to this 50% reduction, I’d bet yes.”

Even without new breakthroughs, progress can be made by making care more equitable, said Dr. Crystal Denlinger, Chief Scientific Officer National Comprehensive Cancer NetworkA group of elite cancer centers.

And any effort to reduce cancer mortality will need to focus on the biggest cancer killer, which is lung cancer. Mostly caused by smoking, lung cancer now causes more cancer deaths than any other cancer. Of the 1,670 cancer deaths in the United States every day, more than 350 are from lung cancer.

lung cancer screening is helpful. The American Cancer Society says such screening helped reduce cancer mortality by 32% from its peak from 1991 to 2019, the most recent year for which numbers are available.

But only 5% of eligible patients are being screened for lung cancer.

“It’s sad,” said lung specialist Dr. Roy Herbst Yale Cancer Center.

“The moon must be a social reform as well as a scientific and medical reform,” Herbst said. “We have to find a way that makes screening easier, that it is fully covered, that we have more screening facilities.”

Biden plans to urge Americans who may have delayed cancer screening during the pandemic to seek them out faster, reminding them that early detection can be key to avoiding adverse outcomes.

He was also ready to highlight provisions in Democrats’ health care and climate change bills that the administration believes will reduce out-of-pocket drug prices for some widely used cancer treatments. . He will also celebrate new guarantees for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, which cover their potential cancer diagnosis.

of Dr. Michael Hassett Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said Biden’s goal of reducing cancer deaths could be accomplished by following two parallel paths: one by discovery and the other by ensuring that more and more people benefit from existing treatments and preventive approaches. are picking up.

“If we can address both aspects, both challenges, great progress is possible,” Hassett said.

In breast cancer, for example, many women who could benefit from the hormone-blocking pill either never start therapy or stop taking it before the recommended five years, Hassett’s research found.

“Those are big gaps,” Hassett said. “It’s a treatment that’s effective. But if a lot of people aren’t taking that drug or if they’re taking it but are stopping it before they finish the course of therapy, the drug that can offer benefits.” Yes, he doesn’t realize it.”

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