White House outlines new investments to help families with kids fighting cancer

The White House on Thursday marked one year since President Biden relaunched the Cancer Moonshot initiative, announcing a series of new efforts to reduce cancer deaths and provide support to those getting treatment.

The National Cancer Institute will launch a new public-private partnership to assist families with children diagnosed with cancer, the White House said. The Childhood Cancer — Data Integration for Research, Education, Care, and Clinical Trials, or CC-DIRECT, will provide support to families to help them find ideal care for their child and participate in research initiatives like clinical trials and share data on optimal treatments.

The new program is a collaboration between the National Cancer Institute, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Cancer Society, the Office fo the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and several other groups.

The White House also announced that the the Health Resources and Services Administration is awarding $10 million to improve access to cancer screenings to improve early detection. The funds will go to 22 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers, which will conduct patient outreach in their communities to promote early detection.

The Department of Health and Human Services is also launching a public-private partnership called CancerX, an innovation initiative to accelerate the development of biotech and health tech startups focused on cancer care, especially those with equity in mind.

The initiatives announced Thursday will be led by Biden’s “Cancer Cabinet,” which is made up of medical experts and roughly 20 administration officials from the White House, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Labor and other agencies.

Biden in February 2021 relaunched the Cancer Moonshot with the goal to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years and improve the lives of caregivers and cancer survivors. Biden oversaw the original moonshot initiative during the final years of the Obama administration.

The cause of ending cancer has been personal for Biden, whose son Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46. The president has talked about ending cancer throughout his campaign and presidency, saying it would be a priority for him. He has also framed it as a bipartisan effort, meeting with members of both parties at the White House during his first year in office to discuss the effort.