In an opinion piece for The Hill, Lasker President Claire Pomeroy urges renewed vigor in public support for the newest phase of the Cancer Moonshot.
The race to put a man on the moon — “Moonshot 1.0” — was the crowning achievement of NASA’s Apollo program that catapulted Americans onto the lunar surface between 1969-1972. Its ultimate success came after years of incremental advances, offset by budget constraints, hardware glitches and a deadly explosion.
The race to find cures for deadly cancers — heralded by the passage of the National Cancer Act in December, 1971 (as NASA crews gazed back at Earth), is likewise a marathon, characterized by gains and setbacks, and critically dependent upon public support. Since 1971, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the beachhead for coordinated scientific discovery has mightily supported biomedical researchers and, together with significant investment by industry, produced previously unimaginable breakthroughs, even as total victory against the disease has remained tantalizingly on the horizon.
Mary Lasker at the National Cancer Advisory Board