Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

The Moon?

Little has come of Patrick Soon-Shiong's cancer moonshot effort, Stat News reports.

Around the same time that President Barack Obama announced a 'Cancer Moonshot' effort in 2016, Soon-Shiong, the CEO of NantHealth, launched his own 'Cancer MoonShot 2020.' This project aimed to bring together pharmaceutical and biotech companies, academics, payors, and community oncologists with the goal of enrolling some 20,000 cancer patients in immunotherapy clinical trials by 2020, as GenomeWeb reported at the time.

This effort is to come to its culmination this year, but Stat News has found that it has not made much progress. It previously reported in 2017 that the Cancer MoonShot 2020 project appeared to mainly be promoting the use of NantHealth's GPS Cancer tool. (The project's name also changed to Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 following a lawsuit from University of Texas's MD Anderson Cancer Center, it added.)

Now by combing through clinical trial and other records, Stat News has found that the project has only enrolled a small portion of the patients it hoped to and that much of the work that has been reported was early-stage safety studies lacking control groups. 

David Agus, an oncologist at the University of Southern California, tells Stat News he's heard little from the project since it launched. "Every time someone offers [cancer patients] hope, and that hope isn't realized, it's almost a slap in the face," he says. 

However, Soon-Shiong's spokesperson, Jen Hodson, tells Stat News the project is to make an announcement at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco next week.