Committing $5.4 million to their first year of study, the Biden-Harris administration announced its inaugural cohort of 11 Cancer Moonshot scholars in August 2023. The White House said that the emerging leaders in cancer research and innovation will use the funding “to help change what is possible.”

“We are at our best when we capitalize on the diversity of the nation’s skills, talents, and viewpoints to solve the complex problems in cancer research, and the Cancer Moonshot Scholars program is a critical step in that direction of equity,” NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities Director Sanya A. Springfield, PhD, said.

With projects to increase prevention and early detection efforts for patients from underrepresented populations, create new cancer treatments for all Americans, and further the nation’s expertise in addressing hard-to-treat cancers, the initial cohort of Cancer Moonshot scholars is making progress in prostate, pancreatic, liver, lung, cervical, brain, and rectal cancers.

“The Cancer Moonshot Scholars program is an important investment in cancer research and advancements that can deliver hope for patients with cancer across the nation,” Deputy Assistant to the President for the Cancer Moonshot Danielle Carnival, PhD, said. “Mobilizing toward the two goals set by the President and the First Lady—preventing cancer deaths and improving the patient experience—requires supporting a new generation of talented researchers bringing diverse perspectives from all across America.”

During the past eight years, the Cancer Moonshot has made changes that normally would take a decade to achieve in half that time. ONS and many oncology nurses have been a part of the discussion groups, working committees, and formal and informal conversations about how to make the goal of “ending cancer as we know it” a reality.