The Cancer Moonshot is a Mission, and All of Us #CanServe
Joe Biden (Archives)


For 23 years the Prostate Cancer Foundation (“PCF”) has worked closely with the United States Government to end deaths from prostate cancer and improve the lives of millions of men who are battling this disease. Together we have successfully reduced the death rate by more than 50%. Our work, however, is not yet done. Every year, tens of thousands of men face a lethal diagnosis and more than 26,000 men will die this year in the United States. We need to cut those numbers in half, again and again. We are “over the moon” to work with the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot to double the progress.


Vice President Biden has inspired biomedical-research-funding foundations like PCF to think about how they might defy the bounds of innovation to cure cancer. As part of PCF’s Moonshot effort, there are two exciting opportunities to capitalize on Vice President Biden’s initiative:

  1. Precision Oncology for Advanced Prostate Cancer: PCF is assembling a large-scale team science project that uses a next generation targeted genomic screening approach to match patients with sub-studies testing investigational new treatments based on their unique molecular profiles. PCF will seek to collaborate with academic, industry, and government partners including the NCI to fast forward this initiative. This approach promises to deliver advances for other kinds of cancer patients: several discoveries in prostate cancer precision oncology now extend to saving lives in 9 other forms of cancer (breast, myeloma, colon, lung, ovarian, melanoma, pediatric neuroblastoma, bladder and thyroid cancers).
  2. Future PCF-VA Collaboration: PCF will invest $50 million in precision oncology research over the next 5 years with an emphasis on supporting prostate cancer research and care for Veterans. Over this period, PCF will collaborate with the VA to develop a strategic plan to help implement and augment precision oncology for the treatment of prostate cancer among veterans. As a first step, PCF will fund a series of pilots across the country to accelerate precision oncology, clinical research, and the clinical care of veterans with prostate cancer using the latest and most sophisticated biotechnologies.

At the AACR annual meeting, Vice President Biden cited PCF’s groundbreaking venture philanthropy model of efficient, effective funding and coordination which has been adopted by many other medical research foundations. On the difficulty in getting a government grant, Vice President Biden said, “… the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s grant application is limited to 10 pages and you get an answer in 30 days.” Our work has never been more crucial than it is today: the Cancer Moonshot is a major U.S. government strategy to double the rate of progress toward a cure. The Prostate Cancer Foundation aligns with this mission 100%.


If you consider the more than 2000 PCF funded research projects over the past 2 decades — you get a sense of the seismic effect that PCF has had on advancing the world’s community of scientists and physicians working to beat this disease. We have recruited numerous young scientists, experts and senior researchers who each provide unique scientific expertise. Today, we have a research family of more than 5,700 investigators. Our goal is to identify entrepreneurial scientists, regardless of their field, who conduct pioneering research that may fall outside the parameters of traditional funding organizations.

As Vice President Biden said, “We ought to let scientists do science.”

And we are.


At a time when few people believed in the benefits of immunotherapy for cancer treatment, PCF saw an opportunity to invest in research that would enable us to redirect a body’s immune system to fight prostate cancer and other diseases. With early PCF support, immunotherapy blossomed into a major area of intensive research. PCF has been the “market mover” in early stage funding of human immunotherapy research investing more than $20 million to support the discovery and development of antibodies and therapeutic cancer vaccines and related therapies to boost a patient’s immune response against his specific tumor.

Sipuleucel-T was the first therapeutic vaccine approved for any type of cancer. PCF has championed the integration of academic and industry research to speed the development of new treatments including the approval of 6 FDA-approved treatments for advanced prostate cancer.


In addition to our new initiatives supporting the Cancer Moonshot, we will continue to invest in the best new research around the world. The pace of change is accelerating; the opportunities for transformative breakthroughs present themselves almost weekly. The need to move potential therapies through the drug delivery process quickly has never been more urgent. The need to work together with all cancer research organizations and patient communities has never been greater. The opportunity to change the standard of care and positively improve outcomes has never been better. We applaud the Vice President, we support his vision, and we stand as a proud Cancer Moonshot partner. By doing so, we hope not only to end prostate cancer, but also to help end many other cancers as well.

All of us can shape the future of cancer care but it will take a very concentrated and collaborative effort to deliver cutting edge advances directly to patients.

That role is ours to deliver.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation Global Research Enterprise salutes the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative.


The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research. Founded in 1993, PCF has raised more than $660 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at more than 200 cancer centers and universities. The PCF global research enterprise now extends to 19 countries. PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. For more information, visit Connect with PCF: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

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