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.
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.
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