The Biden Cancer Initiative announced 57 new commitments from the public and private sectors in response to former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden’s call to find solutions that will double the rate of progress against cancer. These innovative programs and partnerships focus on data sharing, patient support, education, and empowerment, research, clinical trials, access to care, disparities, and prevention and early detection. They were announced during the Biden Cancer Summit on September 21, 2018. 

BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) announced the initiative of quadrupling progress against cancer in Africa. “Cancer in Africa is almost always a death sentence”, Jennifer Dent told the Summit audience. As part of the African Access Initiative in partnership with companies, governments, healthcare providers and NGOs, BVGH is focused on sustainably expanding access to cancer medicines and technologies, improving healthcare infrastructure, and building clinical and R&D capacity in Africa to addressing Africa’s long under-recognized cancer epidemic. Cancer in Africa is almost always a death sentence said Jennifer Dent @BIOVentures Click To Tweet

Brain tumor immunotherapy

The newly announced Legacy Program in Brain Cancer, led by UF Health in collaboration with top peer institutations from across the US and Canada, will be among the largest collective efforts focused on brain tumor immunotherapy worldwide. “Currently, five-year survival for patients diagnosed with the most aggressive brain tumors ranges from less than 1 percent to less than 10 percent. These statistics are unacceptably low and haven’t changed significantly in decades”, said world-renowned immunotherapy expert Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D. The goal of the Program is to achieve transformative improvement in long-term survival within the next decade for patients diagnosed with malignant brain tumors. Survival rates for patients with the most aggressive brain tumors are unacceptably low said Dr. Duane Mitchell @UF ‏ Click To Tweet

Also Airbnb expanded its Open Homes platform to include medical stays, allowing hosts both in the United States and around the world to open their homes for free to those traveling for medical treatment or respite. And WeWork will set up new “collaboration hubs” offering space where cancer researchers, patients, advocates and companies can work and collaborate in major U.S. cities. Three collaboration hubs have opened in San Francisco, Boston and New York. “We have to do everything in our power, everything that we can possibly think of to prevent other parents from losing their son or daughter or mom or dad”, Biden told the audience. For a complete list of commitments, please visit http://www.bidencancer.org/commitments. We have to do everything in our power, everything that we can possibly think of to prevent other parents from losing their son or daughter or mom or dad says @JoeBiden Click To Tweet

Greater sense of urgency

“Jill and I are calling through the entire nation to come together and take on cancer with a much greater sense of urgency.  The urgency of now. Eighteen million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year around the world. If we maintain the status quo that number will be 26 million by the year 2020. And the single great reason why life expectancy is protected not to grow, is because of cancer around the world. I am absolutely convinced, beyond any shadow of a doubt, we can make hope real. People are desperately looking for hope.”

His son Beau Biden died in 2015 of a malignant brain tumor. He was 46. Eight months later, President Barack Obama named the Vice President to head an effort to accelerate progress against the disease.

Nicole Verbeeck

Nicole Verbeeck

Nicole Verbeeck is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Moonshot for Life, covering medical innovation, storyfying progress in healthcare. She is also founder of Juneau Cayenne, a creative design, content and technology lab crafting innovative storytelling experiences for clients in healthcare and life sciences worldwide.

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