By Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images
UPDATE: On Monday, March 21, Vice President Joe Biden visited Fred Hutch as part of his National Cancer Moonshot initiative listening tour. You can read about his visit here, see images from the historic day here, and learn more about the moonshot here. Also, we featured Dr. David Maloney in a Facebook Live broadcast on Tuesday, March 22. Maloney discussed his work in cancer immunotherapy. If you missed his live talk, you can see it here.
Vice President Joe Biden will visit Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on March 21 as part of his cancer moonshot “listening tour.”
During his stop, he’ll meet with Fred Hutch researchers and President Dr. Gary Gilliland as well as other researchers from the Seattle area. He’ll also take a brief tour.
“I’m thrilled that Vice President Biden will be visiting Fred Hutch,” said Gilliland. “I truly believe that the moonshot initiative, which is bringing together some of the best scientific minds, will accelerate cures for cancer that leverage our collaborative approach. We have the opportunity for more curative therapies in the next few years than in the last 50. For example, due to the progress we’ve made in immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of our own immune system, we’re now seeing dramatic remissions in patients with cancer. We are on the cusp of success that will benefit patients now and in the near future.”
During his final State of the Union address in January, President Barack Obama announced that he was putting Biden in charge of the initiative to cure cancer. The White House has announced a proposed $1 billion budget.
Since the announcement, Biden has formed a task force and has been visiting cancer researchers and advocates as part of his “listening tour” to learn more.
In 2016, an estimated 600,000 people in the U.S. will die of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. That’s more than 1,600 a day.
For Biden, whose son Beau died last year of brain cancer at the age of 46, it’s deeply personal.
Biden has pledged to spend the rest of his life working toward cures for cancer.
“Our job [with the moonshot initiative],” said Biden, in a message on the White House’s website, “is to clear out the bureaucratic hurdles and let science happen.”
Linda Dahlstrom is a former Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center editor. Previously, she was the health editor for NBC News Digital and msnbc.com. She also worked at several newspapers during her 25-year career as a journalist covering AIDS, cancer, end-of-life issues and global health.