ASCO Recommends ‘Quick Wins’ for National Cancer Moonshot

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Last month, ASCO recommended to Vice President Joe Biden several immediate and practical actions the Cancer Moonshot Initiative could take during the remainder of his term in the White House—steps that could make a lasting impact in the effort to discover new cancer treatments.

ASCO’s recommendations include:

  • Expand Access to Clinical Trials
    Patients with a low socioeconomic status, older adults, and ethnic and racial minority groups are underrepresented in clinical trials. Part of the challenge is, that unlike Medicare and private insurers, Medicaid is not required by federal law to cover routine care costs incurred by patients in clinical trials. The Society recommended President Barack Obama issue an Executive Order to require Medicaid coverage for routine coverage of clinical trials.
  • Invest in Pragmatic Trials
    Between 1996 and 2010, industry funded only nine pragmatic clinical trials, which are designed to evaluate the efficacy of an intervention in real-world conditions and to produce results that are generalizable to routine clinical care. ASCO urged increased funding for pragmatic, multistakeholder clinical trials that are more integrated with clinical practice standards.
  • Streamline Reporting and Reduce Administrative Burdens
    In a letter to Vice President Biden, the Society recommended several areas where the federal government could standardize reporting requirements and centralize coverage analyses to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens on researchers.

These recommendations build on ASCO’s continuing work with the National Cancer Moonshot. This summer, ASCO participated in the Cancer Moonshot Summit with Vice President Joe Biden and other leaders in the cancer community and discussed research and policy proposals to advance discovery in cancer treatment.

In related activity, on September 7, the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative Blue Ribbon Panel presented its report to the National Cancer Advisory Board highlighting key areas of scientific opportunity and specific recommendations for accelerating cancer cures. The full Bull Ribbon Panel report can be found at

For additional information on ASCO’s involvement in the National Cancer Moonshot and future updates, please stay tuned to ASCO in Action at ■

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