CHICAGO - Vice President Joseph Biden addressed the nation's oncology professionals today at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. The Vice President thanked oncologists for their commitment to patient care and their contributions to the nation's growing understanding of cancer, and called on them to provide bold new ideas that can advance the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. With more than 35,000 attendees, ASCO's Annual Meeting is the world's largest gathering of cancer doctors focused on groundbreaking clinical research advances and the most promising treatments in patient care.
"Every year, thousands of oncologists and millions of patients all over the world await the news coming from this meeting - new breakthroughs, new therapies, new promises of cure, hope," the Vice President said. "I know of no cadre of people in the world more desperately in need of hope than the 16 million people with cancer.
"This year, [ASCO's meeting theme] is harnessing the collective wisdom of oncologists around the world to put patients at the center of research and care. That's exactly what I'm trying to do in the Cancer Moonshot, and it matters," he said.
Vice President Biden took the opportunity to reiterate four critical priorities for achieving his "moonshot" to end cancer. They included: significant new federal investment in cancer research; enhanced sharing of research and patient data; increased use of team-based approaches that harness different medical and scientific disciplines; and new approaches to developing and recruiting for clinical trials. He also spoke extensively about his vision of making data-sharing a reality, referencing several initiatives under way, including ASCO's CancerLinQ™ and a new effort launched today by the National Cancer Institute.
"Today, oncologists and cancer researchers realize that they can't [advance cancer progress] alone... What's required today extends beyond any individual or any individual discipline, beyond medicine itself... It requires somewhat of a change in mindset. It requires a lot more openness - open data, open collaboration and above all, open minds," he said.
"We're honored that Vice President Biden was able to attend, and are deeply grateful for his commitment, energy and leadership, which has renewed the nation's commitment to ending the pain and suffering cause by cancer and transformed the nation's dialogue on achieving cancer progress," said Julie Vose, MD, President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. "ASCO's mission is closely aligned to the goals of the moonshot initiative, and we stand ready to help in whatever way we can to accelerate and end cancer as we know it."
ASCO is working to pursue the Moonshot Initiative's goals in a number of other key areas, and will continue to work closely with the Vice President and his team to offer input and report on our progress. Earlier in the day, ASCO hosted a "listening session" with key representatives appointed by the National Cancer Institute to help determine the Moonshot's priorities and direction.
Broadcast-quality footage of the Vice President's speech can be downloaded at: https://asco1.sharefile.com/d-s18e82bfb406476b9.
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