MD Anderson Plans “Moonshot” Against Cancer

HOUSTON (September 21, 2012)—The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is mounting a massive, 10-year war on eight specific forms of cancer, similar to NASA's all-out effort in the 60s to land an astronaut on the moon.

MD Anderson expects to spend as much as $3 billion on the "moonshot" project and says it already has "tens of millions" of dollars in gifts to jump-start the research.

The cancers targeted are especially deadly forms of breast and ovarian cancer, along with lung, prostate, melanoma and two types of leukemia.

The project aims to find cures and lower deaths. Although no overall benchmarks have been set, individual projects have specific goals.

Cancer center President Dr. Ronald DePinho said the hospital is picking "the fight of the 21st century," but said many of the weapons needed, like genetic information and more precise drugs already exist.


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