University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cancer Moonshot Expert Panel, Including UCSF Researchers, Delivers 10 Recommendations

By Mike Billings | | September 8, 2016

Cancer Moonshot Expert Panel, Including UCSF Researchers, Delivers 10 Recommendations

Vice President Joe Biden (center), visited UCSF in February as part of his National Cancer Moonshot initiative. From left to right: Mignon Loh, MD; Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS; Joe Biden; Jill Biden, PhD; and UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. Photo by Noah Berger

Ten recommendations from a Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific experts, cancer leaders and patient advocates – including two UC San Francisco researchers – have been approved to help guide the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

UCSF researchers Mitchel Berger, MD, and Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, were among 28 members of the panel who contributed the 10 recommendations that were approved Wednesday by the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) and Douglas Lowy, M.D., the acting director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The panel’s recommendations are a step toward the final recommendations that the Cancer Moonshot Task Force will produce and deliver to President Barack Obama by December 2016. 

Blue Ribbon Panel Report 2016
Cancer Moonshot
released September 7, 2016

"The bold but feasible cross-cutting initiatives in this report will improve outcomes for patients with cancer, prevent cancer and increase our understanding of cancer," Lowy said in a press release. "NCI stands ready to accelerate cancer research in the critical areas identified by the Blue Ribbon Panel."

Recommendations Span the Spectrum

The panel broke into working groups to concentrate on opportunities in seven areas: clinical trials, enhanced data sharing, cancer immunology, implementation science, pediatric cancer, precision prevention and early detection, and tumor evolution and progression.

Those working groups then produced the following recommendations:

  • Network for direct patient engagement
  • Cancer immunotherapy clinical trials network
  • Therapeutic target identification to overcome drug resistance
  • A national cancer data ecosystem for sharing and analysis
  • Fusion oncoproteins in pediatric cancer
  • Symptom management research
  • Prevention and early detection: implementation of evidence-based approaches
  • Retrospective analysis of biospecimens from patients treated with standard of care
  • Generation of human tumor atlases
  • Development of new enabling cancer technologies

"The goal is to focus investigators into these areas because this is where we feel we can make huge progress in the next five years as opposed to the next 10 years," Berger said.