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President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative Represents Bold Vision and Leaves Questions Unanswered for Pediatric Cancer Patients’ Families

09/14/22

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation urges government leaders to prioritize the unique and profound challenges of childhood cancer in developing Cancer Moonshot initiatives 

This week on the 60th anniversary of President Kennedy’s historic Moonshot speech, President Joe Biden addressed the country about his vision for another American moonshot: ending cancer as we know it.  

President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot is one of the boldest initiatives in American history, and it reflects his deeply personal understanding of the need to improve the pace of cancer research and eliminate barriers that impact patient families’ access to care.  

We praise the Cancer Moonshot’s emphasis on data-sharing to spur scientific breakthroughs and break down silos that have kept research out of the hands of those who can benefit from access. The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) also holds immense potential to drive biomedical and healthcare breakthroughs for children with brain cancer. We are hopeful that Dr. Renee Wegrzyn will prioritize children and families in her leadership of the agency, and we welcome opportunities for collaboration that will ensure the perspectives of pediatric cancer researchers, patient families, and organizations are included in ARPA-H's development.    

While President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot will be consequential for everyone affected by cancer, the reality is that the initiatives he outlined will mostly benefit adult cancer patients. More focus on pediatric cancer research is needed to benefit children, adolescents, and their families. 

“Families affected by childhood cancer face unique and profound challenges,” says Courtney Davies, PBTF President and CEO. “The Cancer Moonshot represents a bold vision, and there are many unanswered questions as to what steps will be taken to ensure the voices of pediatric patients’ families are heard in developing the initiatives outlined in President Biden’s speech. To truly end cancer as we know it, policymakers need to understand the challenges facing the childhood cancer community and commit to addressing them.     

A report published last week underscored why there’s such an urgent need to dedicate resources to pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers. This first-of-its-kind report revealed that more children under the age of 19 are diagnosed with brain cancer, and dying from it, than ever before, while adult brain cancer patients are experiencing a decline in the incidence of diagnosis and mortality rates. 

PBTF is committed to making kids with brain tumors a national health priority, and we need your help in educating legislators and government agencies about the need to increase resources for pediatric cancer patients and their loved ones. Sign up to become an advocate with PBTF and make your voice heard. When you join our advocacy community, you’ll receive the latest news on legislation affecting the pediatric brain tumor community and learn more about opportunities to meet with your legislators.

About the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation 
No parent believes their child will be diagnosed with brain cancer. When it happens, no patient, parent, sibling, or survivor should have to stand alone. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is there for families facing the deadliest and most common childhood cancer, responding with resources and community support that address every family member’s needs. The largest patient advocacy funder of pediatric brain tumor research, PBTF also funds and advocates for innovative projects that lead to vital discoveries, new clinical trials, and better treatments – all bringing us closer to a cure. We’re able to do that because of people and partners committed to supporting families and ending childhood brain cancer. Learn more at www.curethekids.org.