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Moon Shots Program a 'giant leap' for patients

Network - Fall 2012

MD Anderson is launching an unprecedented effort to dramatically accelerate the pace of converting scientific discoveries into clinical advances that reduce cancer deaths. President Ronald DePinho, M.D., says that the success of the new Moon Shots Program will be measured by reduced patient mortality and nothing less.

The program brings together sizable multidisciplinary groups of researchers and clinicians to mount comprehensive attacks on eight cancers initially. They’ll work as part of six moon shot teams: acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, melanoma, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and triple-negative breast and high-grade serous ovarian cancers, which are linked at the molecular level.

One of the moon shot leaders, Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor in the Department of Systems Biology, says it’s patients who remind MD Anderson why this effort can’t wait.

“We’re no longer talking about it. We’re no longer thinking about it. We’re no longer promising it for the future. We’re doing it today,” he says.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center