A multi-faceted campaign
As the initiative reaches its first anniversary and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) marks World Cancer Day, on February 4, it is clear that the Moonshot is a multi-faceted movement that feeds off cultural change as well as scientific and medical advances.
The UICC warns that 19.3 million cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed a year by 2025. Public health campaigns play a vital role in stemming the tide but the influence and potency of leading industry firms is key to winning the battle.
A three-year commitment by 22 biopharma firms, the World Bank and the UICC, announced at the Davos World Economic Forum 2017, will see $50 million invested to develop and measure sustainable programmes to combat Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in low and lower-income communities.
At Philips, the imperative is to provide the innovation, technology, knowledge and drive that can re-draw the oncology landscape to enable greater clinical collaboration and data sharing. It has a bold programme that creates the support structures and capabilities to provide faster and more accurate diagnoses which will lead to better patient outcomes combined with cost effective healthcare.
An early example of an enhanced collaborative approach came with Cancer Research UK’s Manchester Institute, at the University of Manchester, joining forces with the University of Southern California to accelerate research into circulating tumour cells to further understanding of faulty genes. Identical laboratories are being set up on either side of the Atlantic with real-time sharing of research data and experimental procedures.
The pioneering union could quicken the pace to developing tests to detect early signs of cancer in otherwise healthy people and so improve survival and cure rates.
Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, comments: “We’re proud to be part of Vice President Biden’s initiative and share his ambition to see progress accelerate so that more cancers are cured. By pulling down the international barriers to foster collaborations between the best teams around the world we can enable them to share technology, insights and data that will transform how cancer can be detected, monitored and treated.”