WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden said a strategic plan is in place to transform cancer research and care. He updated President Barack Obama and the public about the administration's Cancer Moonshot initiative on Monday.
President Obama appointed Biden in January to lead the charge in finding a cure for cancer. After only nine months, Biden said, "We are on the cusp of so many enormous breakthroughs. Your children are going to see more breakthroughs in the next 15 years than we've seen in the last 50."
Biden presented two reports to President Obama. The first report detailed the progress they have made since the Cancer Moonshot was launched earlier this year while the second report was about where the initiative should go once a new administration takes over.
“We now have powerful new technologies and tools – we have an army,” Biden said. “And with this moonshot, a clear strategy of the road ahead."
This mission is personal for the vice president. Biden lost his son to cancer last year and he and his wife, Jill, are determined to make a difference.
The goal of the Cancer Moonshot is to transform cancer research, improve screening and preventative measures, to inject urgency into the matter and speed up efforts to find a cure and to make ten years’ worth of progress within just five.
“Why does one treatment work on you and not me? We have the same cancer,” said Biden. “Because of technological advances and analyzing cancer genes and other genes in the body, we are closer than ever before understanding what causes specific cancers.”
The vice president said several federal agencies are helping with the initiative. The Department of Defense is launching a new study to help better understand the biological basis of cancer. They are even using artificial intelligence to analyze its collection of tissues from tumors to look for patterns.
Meanwhile, private companies also are offering their help. Uber and Lyft have announced they will provide free transportation for some cancer patients so they don't miss treatments or appointments. About one in four patients don't get to their doctors because of transportation issues.
FOX 5 spoke with Biden in May about the Cancer Moonshot among other issues and he said his late son, Beau, is ever-present on his mind as he continues this fight. He has his picture as his screensaver on his phone reminding him daily why he is doing this to reinvigorate his resolve. He said he will devote the rest of his life to this cause.