Blue Ribbon Panel 2016 Overview

Blue Ribbon Panel 2016 Overview


We are at an exciting time in our understanding
of cancer and the way we’re approaching how we treat it and I think before long, the way
we are approaching how we will prevent it. The science is here, the time is right. There are new therapies being developed at
a rapid rate. Our field is just energized. The Vice President’s cancer initiative comes
at exactly the right time to really help us accelerate our understanding of the whole
cancer process. The Blue Ribbon Panel was given a very important
charge, which was to think about what could be done in ten years and to try to do it in
five. We have come up with recommendations to help
move science and progress in cancer. The Blue Ribbon Panel has really come together
to identify those areas that are really poised for acceleration. Our goal is to achieve better outcomes for
patients with cancer and to reduce the number of cancers that occur in the first place. Some of them are going to just be trying to
enhance our understanding of cancer and some are going to be trying to improve implementation
and dissemination of what we already know works. Whether it’s about metastasis or whether
it’s about drug resistance or whether it’s about understanding response and resistance
to immunotherapy in adult cancer, pediatric cancer… The recommendation to speed up research is
to do a national clinical trial in which we look at various forms of immunotherapy to
try to understand why some patients respond to check point blockers and other do not. It is precision medicine. It’s a total evaluation of the patient’s
tumor and other aspects of the individual patient. To have the resources to make advances in
immune therapy, to understand drug resistance. Being able to eliminate cancer based on our
deep genetic understanding. Part of this concept as an atlas, whether
it’s an immune atlas or whether it’s a tumor evolution atlas, is to really link genetic
data with inflammatory immune data, with epigenetic data, with pharmacokinetic data, and then
with clinical data so that we can really make big data usable to all of us. It’s really to create a- a whole cancer
data ecosystem. To get patients to be actively engaged in
the process. We have these guidelines, we have these recommendations. How do we bring it to the people who need
it the most? Because it is about access. This moon shot blue ribbon is about all patients. There’s not question that all these recommendations
are cross cutting and will get to these patients. This is an opportunity to bring people together. The initiative has galvanized the community
in a way that I haven’t seen before. Advocates, researchers, government, industry
came together to really help this initiative. The Vice President with his passion and commitment
says he’s going to be doing this for the rest of his life. And with him as our champion I think we’re
going to do very well. He wants to make this happen and he is 100
percent committed to making this happen. We need a champion and he is definitely the
one- one. This is an opportunity for our field, for
our country. We’re extremely energized and optimistic about
what the moonshot can do. We really hope that this will turn into therapies
that can hopefully cure patients with metastatic disease. I truly do believe it will lead to better
outcomes. This is the first time I’ve seen these amount
of excitement uh, behind cancer research. Our job now is to make sure that these initiatives
and these recommendations that we’re putting forth benefit everyone. And I think that’s the challenge.

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