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Cancer MoonShot 2020 Project Launches Pediatric Consortium Arm

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Cancer MoonShot 2020 project, which was launched by NantWorks CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong earlier this year, has formed a consortium that will focus on pediatric cancer, the group said this week.

In January, Soon-Shiong said that the Cancer MoonShot 2020 project would bring together representatives of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, academics, payors, and community oncologists to advance immunotherapy for cancer patients. Part of the program involves enrolling as many as 20,000 cancer patients representing 20 different tumor types in randomized clinical trials for immunotherapy combinations by 2020. All patients would be molecularly screened via next-generation sequencing.

The Phoenix Children's Hospital initiated the Pediatrics Consortium arm of Cancer MoonShot 2020, which includes nine other founding members: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Children's Hospital of Orange County, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Duke Department of Pediatrics at Duke University, Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, University of Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Sanford Health in South Dakota.

The consortium will leverage the resources of Cancer MoonShot 2020 including "access to state-of-the-art, next-generation molecular profiling capabilities and access to over 60 novel and approved therapies, along with other invaluable expertise focused on improving pediatric cancer care specifically," Robert Meyer, president and CEO of Phoenix Children's Hospital, said in a statement.

The program "will link scientists and technological advances across dozens of areas around a single goal: clinical treatments individualized to the disease in a particular person," Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, said in the statement.