ASCO Praises President’s Sharp Focus on Cancer

Statement From ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO

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ASCO applauds President Obama for his bold vision to launch a national effort on cancer, which he described during his State of the Union address on January 12, 2016. We also join him in recognizing Vice President Biden’s leadership in calling for a “moonshot” that will reduce the cancer-related human suffering and loss of life that impacts millions of Americans each year. 

With nearly 1.7 million people in the United States diagnosed with cancer each year, and the incidence of cancer expected to rise to 2.3 million cases per year by 2030, it is imperative that we do all we can to bring more effective treatments from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside as quickly as possible. We agree with President Obama when he asserted that “…we can do so much more. For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all,” said President Obama.

‘Big Data’ Initiatives

We must recommit to vastly speeding the discovery of new cancer treatments and enabling the possibility of precision medicine for every individual with cancer. With the effective application of “big data” initiatives, such as ASCO’s CancerLinQ rapid-learning system, insights that have taken years to discern could happen much more quickly, helping us to better understand which treatments work best for each patient and the high-impact areas where additional research is critically needed. 

As the world’s leading professional organization representing nearly 40,000 physicians and other health-care professionals who care for people with cancer, ASCO’s mission is to conquer cancer through research education and promotion of high-quality cancer care that is accessible to all Americans.  ASCO stands ready to fully support President Obama and Vice President Biden in this critically important endeavor as we strive to realize our vision of a world where cancer is prevented or cured and every survivor is healthy. ■




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