Nearly 100 cancer organizations representing patients, providers and researchers sent a letter to the president and congressional leadership today in support of funding the Cancer Moonshot initiative. The letter details the urgent need for funding especially in light of delayed screenings, treatments and research caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also makes clear the unique opportunity to accelerate the pace of discovery with additional resources.

“The Moonshot initiative’s goals of cutting the cancer death rate in half through prevention, early detection, innovation, and addressing inequities is laudable, timely, and achievable, but only with the allocation of adequate funding to support these initiatives,” the letter states.

It notes that more than 9.5 million people have missed cancer screenings because of the pandemic, including dramatic drops in the number of cervical, colorectal, breast, prostate, and lung cancer screenings and that, “a reignited Cancer Moonshot is timely to encourage and support the significant effort required to address those who have missed these important screenings.”

It also highlights the importance of creating the Advanced Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to accelerate cancer research and innovations in treatment, along with measures to increase human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and improve the nation’s nutrition and increase physical activity.

“We enthusiastically support this commitment to ‘end cancer as we know it’ and are prepared to work with bipartisan lawmakers to enact public policies that will achieve this goal,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), one of the organizations coordinating this outreach. “Improving equitable prevention, early detection, and treatment, will help us continue to make progress against one of the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide.”

“A bold goal requires bold action, and we are eager to help achieve the Cancer Moonshot’s full potential,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “Cancer affects everyone, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally and there is significant progress to be made to ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat and survive cancer. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to pass proven public health policies that bring us all closer to a healthier future with less death and suffering from this disease.”

This article was originally published February 28, 2022, by National Comprehensive Cancer Network. It is republished with permission.