January 11, 2021, by Norman E. Sharpless, M.D., and Dinah Singer, Ph.D
NIH/National Cancer Institute
It’s hard to believe that 4 years have passed since the Cancer Moonshot℠ was “launched.” In December 2016, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which authorized $1.8 billion in funding for the Cancer Moonshot over 7 years. Even though it is only at the midway point in terms of funding, we believe it is well on its way to producing meaningful improvements for people with cancer.
Supporters heralded the Cancer Moonshot as “an enormous, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the cancer community and our nation to come together around a single disease that touches everyone.”
The architects of the Moonshot articulated three ambitious goals for the Cancer Moonshot: to accelerate scientific discovery in cancer, foster greater collaboration, and improve the sharing of data.
As Congress was completing legislative action, NCI gathered a Blue Ribbon Panel to develop the scientific direction for the Cancer Moonshot and make recommendations for transformative research. Informing the deliberations were nearly 1,600 comments and ideas from stakeholders across the cancer community. Today, we see remarkable progress toward these goals and important changes in the culture of cancer research.