WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is set to host a national cancer research summit next month, the executive director of his initiative announced Tuesday — giving the vice president another chance to put his “moonshot” project in the spotlight in his final months in office.
The summit, to take place in Washington on June 29, will bring together researchers, cancer survivors, patient advocates, federal agency officials, data and technology experts, oncologists, and philanthropists in an attempt to add momentum to Biden’s initiative.
The White House is also trying to organize smaller summits throughout the country — at least one in each state, to be hosted by regional Department of Health and Human Services officials and including local officials, hospital centers, and cancer patients and advocacy groups.
“Everybody needs to be on ‘Let’s go’ for this,” Greg Simon, the executive director of Biden’s initiative, wrote in a Medium post. “When it comes to the National Cancer Moonshot, every American has a role to play. If there were ever a time that you wanted to raise your hand to change the world, now’s the time.”
Biden has said the goal of the initiative is to double the rate of progress of cancer research over the next five years.
The summit comes at a time when the initiative has entered a quieter phase, with a federal task force working across different agencies and a “blue ribbon panel” of experts considering more detailed advice.
The experts have split up into seven working groups that will address the biggest themes of the initiative, including sharing data, expanding clinical trials, and jump-starting the immune system to go after malignant cells. A report on their recommendations is expected to be released in August.