Vice President Joe Biden holds a roundtable with Industry Leaders at the Cancer Moonshot Summit, at Howard University in Washington, DC, June 29, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Charting the Course: Organizational Framework

The mission of the Cancer Moonshot — to make a decade’s worth of progress in preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer in just 5 years — requires renewed efforts across the spectrum of cancer research and care. Thus, the Cancer Moonshot Task Force prioritized early in its discussions the need to have an organizational framework for addressing and uniting these efforts, centered on improving outcomes for patients. In doing so, five strategic goals emerged, which are discussed in further detail in Lifting Off: Cancer Moonshot Implementation Plan. Each goal is not only critical to the overall mission, but also is intended to build on and augment the success of the other goals. It is the coordinated effort across these areas that will ultimately improve the lives of cancer patients and their families.

Cancer Moonshot Strategic Goals

1. Catalyze New Scientific Breakthroughs
2. Unleash the Power of Data
3. Accelerate Bringing New Therapies to Patients
4. Strengthen Prevention and Diagnosis
5. Improve Patient Access and Care

Task Force members agreed that this unique opportunity to usher in a new era of cancer prevention, diagnostics, and therapies can only be achieved if the entire cancer ecosystem works together in new and innovative ways. Efforts pursued under the Cancer Moonshot must complement and build on activities currently underway, but cannot be “business as usual.” The Task Force agreed that to be a “moonshot” any new pursuit must serve a bold purpose and embody a set of core principles that will ensure each effort undertaken has the maximum impact for the community and the individual patient. The following principles are embedded within each strategic goal and throughout the Task Force’s actions and recommendations:

  • Drive innovation in the current cancer ecosystem by pursuing audacious, creative, and disruptive approaches;
  • Collaborate across disciplines, sectors, and borders to leverage talent and expertise; and
  • Share information rapidly to drive advances and crowdsource solutions.

Under the framework established above, the Task Force immediately began working within and across federal departments and agencies to launch a series of focused actions and collaborations to harness resources, programs, personnel, and technology in support of achieving the Cancer Moonshot mission. It established an interagency working group comprising senior leadership across the Federal Government that met bi-weekly to share ideas, discuss challenges, identify new collaborations, and propose new catalytic efforts. Ultimately, the effort engaged staff at multiple levels across the entire Federal Government, demonstrating the deep commitment at all levels to achieve the vision for the Cancer Moonshot as set forth by President Obama and Vice President Biden. Accomplishments spurred by these conversations are described in detail in the next section of this report, along with implementation plans for future activities that can continue to further the Cancer Moonshot’s mission.

Read previous chapter:
The Launch: Establishment of a Cancer Moonshot Task Force

Read next chapter:
Lifting Off: Cancer Moonshot Implementation Plan

Download the full Cancer Moonshot Task Force report.

The Cancer Moonshot

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The official Medium account of the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot. Notes may be archived:

Cancer Moonshot℠

Read the stories of the Administration’s work to double the rate of progress toward a cure

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