On October 17, 2016, Vice President Joe Biden addressed President Obama and the rest of the United States as he presented the National Cancer Moonshot taskforce’s report of the work that’s been accomplished since its inception in January 2016. The report highlights a number of strategic initiatives, including the 10 recommended areas of scientific advancement the Blue Ribbon Panel identified in September. 

The Cancer Moonshot taskforce’s report outlined five strategic goals to which the Moonshot will strive in the coming months and years.

  • Catalyzing new scientific breakthroughs
  • Unleashing the power of data
  • Accelerating bringing new therapies to patients
  • Strengthening prevention and diagnosis
  • Improving patient access to care

The vice president’s report also outlined new partnerships with federal and private-sector organizations. Among the partnerships announced, Amazon and Microsoft will team up with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to build a sustainable model for genomic data to exist in the cloud. This would potentially expand the amount of data that genetic researchers can access through NCI’s Genomic Data Commons for their research. Other private-sector partnerships include ride-sharing services, Uber and Lyft, expanding their services to include free transportation for patients to and from clinical visits.  

Currently, more than 70 private-sector partnerships are committed to helping support the Cancer Moonshot. The vice president noted in his report that the fight against cancer cannot be carried out solely by the federal government. The private and public sectors must come together to progress the Cancer Moonshot’s goals by leveraging the talents and expertise on both sides.  

Oncology Nurses Will Impact the Future Cancer Care

From the Cancer Moonshot’s initial inception during President Obama’s final State of the Union address to the vice president’s recently released report, ONS and oncology nurses have been leading the charge to progress cancer care in the United States. The work of ONS members Deborah Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, Jeannine Brant, PhD, APRN-CNS, AOCN®, and Kathleen Mooney, PhD, RN, FAAN, has helped to shape the Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations by including a focus on symptom management, clinical trial recruitment, and the expansion of prevention and early detection strategies, along with many other initiatives to which oncology nurses will be vital. 

Oncology nurse scientists are standing on the forefront of patient-centered care and symptom management, offering exciting opportunities for our members to engage in the Cancer Moonshot’s goal of reducing the debilitating side effects from cancer treatment. ONS recognizes the importance of oncology nurses in the recruitment and education of patients for clinical trials, as they will be integral to increasing the rate at which patients with cancer participate in these studies. In the coming weeks and months, ONS is continuing its efforts to support the Cancer Moonshot by developing new resources and strategies to move cancer care forward through the support and efforts of its oncology nurse members.