Cancer Center Launches 'Moon Shot' Fight

Houston center aims to slash death rates from 8 kinds of cancer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2012 4:48 AM CDT
Cancer Center Launches 'Moon Shot' Fight
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is the nation's largest cancer center.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

America's largest cancer center has declared an all-out $3 billion war on eight types of the disease. Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center is calling the push the "Moon Shots Program," likening it to John F. Kennedy's 1962 declaration that America would make it to the moon before the end of the '60s, CNN reports. The center's doctors aim to dramatically cut deaths from lung cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma, breast and ovarian cancers, and three types of leukemia by improving treatments and finding cures.

The center plans to step up the fight against the cancers by taking advantage of advances in technology, especially fast, low-cost genetic sequencing. The project is following two tracks, the center's director says. "One is to apply the existing knowledge, to make a near-term impact in this decade," he says. "The second is to also say, 'We do not know everything we need to know to ultimately cure the disease.'" The center, which treated more than 100,000 patients last year, plans to fund the fight with philanthropic gifts, research grants, and commercialization of new discoveries. (Read more cancer stories.)

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