On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden asked a panel of cancer experts in Seattle what the government can do to help get to a cure faster.
During President Obama’s State of the Union address, the "cancer moonshot" project was announced, which includes a $1 billion investment. While some have complained that this money would not be enough to even cover half of a new drug treatment, people in the medical field are hopeful it will spur more funding.
They also hope to see a revolution in the culture of how cancer research is done.
Biden explained to an audience at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that he would like to see a few areas of focus:
- Advancement of the understanding of cancer
- Improvement of patient access to treatment and clinical trials
- Identification of regulatory barriers
- Aggregation and sharing of big data
The last idea of big data seemed to be the most critical point of discussion Monday.
Cancer survivor Bard Richmond said, “I'd love to be able to put my data in with everyone else's. I don't worry about the privacy of it at all.”
Biden said the sharing of data on how patients respond to treatment will help point everyone to specific patterns. He also said he imagines there will be even more collaboration in the years to come, experts in different medical fields working together.
Biden toured Fred Hutch before the panel began, learning of how researchers like Dr. Stanley Riddell work on immunotherapy techniques.
Immunotherapy involves engineering certain cells to seek out cancer tumors and attack them, while leaving normal cells alone.
See our earlier updates from Monday’s events:
Joe Biden spoke at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. You can watch the full, recorded video below.
Traffic was impacted Monday as Biden traveled around Seattle.
Key traffic updates:
[5:20 p.m.] Southbound I-5 closed just after Stewart. Mercer on-ramps to SB 5 also closed.
[3:14 p.m.] Joe Biden begins speaking at Fred Hutch. Watch here.
[2:02 p.m.] Traffic officials advise of forthcoming closures related to Biden's travels. Nortbound I-5 then closed before Convention Center. Southbound I-5 off-ramp to Mercer Street then closed. Hood Canal Bridge was also temporarily closed to drivers, on SR 104.
[1:50 p.m.] Biden's speech concludes at Sen. Patty Murray fundraiser. He mentions heading to Fred Hutch for tour of cancer research lab.
[1:15 p.m.] Biden is running late in his schedule and will speak at Fred Hutch around 2:45 p.m.
[11:50 a.m.] More than 1,000 people wait the arrival of Joe Biden at Convention Center.
[11:45 a.m.] When downtown, Biden is expected to have a luncheon at the Convention Center at 12:30 p.m. He is then scheduled to take tour at Fred Hutchinson at 1:45 p.m. KIRO 7 News will stream the event around 1:45 p.m. here.
Biden's scheduled departure from Boeing Field is at 2:25 p.m.
[11:40 a.m.] All lanes of NB I-5 and WB 90 re-open.
[11:27 a.m.] After about an hour of DOT cameras being dark, NB Interstate 5 starts to close. Interstate 90 is also closing.
NB Interstate 5 is currently closed at Albro.— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) March 21, 2016
Secret Service requires DOT to make closures for @VP - ALL lanes of NB I-5 are closed at Albro; ALL lanes of WB I-90 are closed at Rainier.— Alexis Smith (@AlexisKIRO7) March 21, 2016
[10:35 a.m.] Washington State Department of Transportation's I-5 cameras are out as of 10:35 a.m. from Boeing Field to downtown. Traffic reporter Alexis Smith says to expect a full closure.
[6 a.m.] KIRO 7 News learns Biden is expected to land at Boeing Field around 10:50 a.m.
Seattle Department of Transportation and Washington State Department of Transportation has not released specifics about possibly closures, but KIRO 7 News will send updates on Twitter and through our KIRO 7 News app when highways close. Download our app here.
Events Traffic Advisory for Saturday, Mar. 19 – Tuesday, Mar. 22:— seattledot (@seattledot) March 21, 2016
Sanders, Biden, Clinton visits:https://t.co/P71ARGexnr
The vice president's visit was part of a listening tour to promote cancer research.
President Barack Obama has proposed spending $1 billion for a new initiative to cure cancer. Since the president's announcement during his State of the Union address in January, Biden has been visiting cancer researchers and advocates.
The vice president's son Beau died of brain cancer last year at the age of 46. Biden says his work fighting cancer will include clearing bureaucratic hurdles.
A look ahead: SDOT is also telling drivers to prepare for traffic affected by Hillary Clinton visiting on Tuesday. KIRO 7 News plans to stream at least one of the events.
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