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Supporting Vice President Biden's Cancer Initiative

, by Douglas R. Lowy, M.D.

President Obama has tapped Vice President Biden to lead a major new cancer research initiative.

Credit: The White House

As many in the cancer community are aware by now, during his State of the Union address to Congress last week, President Obama gave a strong endorsement of Vice President Biden’s hopes to launch a large-scale cancer research initiative.

Prior to the State of the Union address, the Vice President had already met with several leading cancer researchers about his plans. And, last Friday, NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., and I joined the Vice President at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he continued these discussions. The Vice President then traveled to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, so he could hear the perspectives of cancer experts from around the world about the challenges and opportunities before us.

For those who haven’t had the opportunity to do so already, I encourage you to read the Vice President’s description of this initiative in his recent blog post

Vice President Biden has long been a vigorous and effective supporter of biomedical research at the NIH. It’s clear that the vision he has presented will build on the progress NCI has helped make possible in so many important areas, including immune-based therapies, genomics, advanced imaging technologies, new laboratory models of human cancer, precision medicine, and more.

The Vice President’s initiative fits very well with NCI’s responsibility and respected leadership of the National Cancer Program to support the best science and to break down barriers to collaboration and innovation across the entire cancer research community.

Thanks to many years of work by dedicated cancer researchers, I believe we have within our reach real opportunities to prevent, successfully treat, or even eliminate many forms of cancer in adults and children.

While our budget is ultimately determined by Congress, the White House’s commitment to and support for this endeavor—which, for many of us, is our life’s work—is very exciting. NCI stands ready to continue to work with our partners across the cancer research community toward the goals we all share.

As this initiative moves forward, we at NCI will keep the cancer community informed about its progress, via blog posts and our other social media channels. We are truly excited and fully prepared to work with researchers, advocates, patients, our partners in the private sector, and many others to achieve the Vice President’s vision.

Douglas R. Lowy, M.D.
Acting Director, NCI

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