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Downstate’s Iuliana Shapira, MD illuminates Cancer Moonshot Initiative

Dr. Iuliana Shapira, Director of the Division of Oncology and Hematology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center talks about the Cancer Moonshot Initiative‘s effects on clinical trials for minority patients.

“The Cancer Moonshot Initiative is a phenomenal program that will allow us to integrate our research efforts, and form partnerships with our patients,” Dr. Shapira said. “Our colleagues can find faster cures for cancer.”

Minorities and immigrants are often underrepresented in clinical trials, she said, but this initiative provides, “the best medicine, up front, right there in their neighborhood.”

President Obama launched The Cancer Moonshot Initiative January 12, 2016 to “make more therapies available to more patients, while also improving our ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage.”

NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy, MD and NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD shared their perspective on the initiative in the New England Journal of Medicine, May 19, 2016. The time is right now for a renewed surge in cancer research.

“Although key actions and deliverables remain a work in progress, one aim of this new initiative is certain: to inspire a new generation of American visionaries to defy the boundaries of current knowledge about cancer. Unleashing the talents of the scientific community by providing a strong, steady stream of resources should enable biomedical research to accelerate progress in the fight against cancer. We expect these efforts to build a firm foundation for the development of better means of prevention, treatment, and cure for all types of cancer.”

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