With the creation of its Moon Shots Program, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center aims to bring together teams of researchers focused on eight cancers to improve patient survival. According to ScienceInsider, MD Anderson President Ronald DePinho compared his organization's new initiative to US President John F. Kennedy's plan to send Americans to the moon. Like space exploration at that time, the cancer research community is experiencing "a confluence of game-changing technological advances that allow us to understand the fundamental underpinnings of this disease," DePinho said at a press conference. The Nature News blog adds that MD Anderson says it may spend up to $3 billion over 10 years on this program.
However, some researchers tell the Nature News blog that it'll take more than one institute to overcome cancer. "You can't attack cancer from just within the perimeter of MD Anderson Cancer Center. It's absurd to exclude other investigators from other institutes," an unnamed MD Anderson faculty member tells the Nature News blog.
And at ScienceInsider, Massachusetts General Hospital's Bruce Chabner adds that fighting cancer is "going to take all the talent around the world."
DePinho's first year at MD Anderson has not been without controversy. An incubator grant awarded to DePinho and his wife Lynda Chin from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas is undergoing a second review after questions about the review process came up.