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Moon Shots Program

Volunteer Voice - Fall 2012

MD Anderson launches game-changing initiative

MD Anderson has launched 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 a decade from now, the success of the new Moon Shots Program will be measured by patient mortality and nothing more.

“It’s not enough to discover,” he says. “We must do.”

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
  • Women’s cancers: Triple-negative breast cancer and high-grade serous ovarian cancer, 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 us 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