Statement by MD Anderson President Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., on passage of the 21st Century Cures Act

With strong bipartisan support, the U.S. House and Senate have passed transformative legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act, which will support the FDA drug development process, facilitate regenerative cellular therapy and provide vital funding for biomedical research – most notably, the White House Cancer Moonshot initiative, renamed the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot under the new law.

At a time of unprecedented opportunity to prevent, detect and treat cancer, support for the White House Cancer Moonshot is critical to future success. Increased funding for brilliant and dedicated researchers will accelerate the development of new life-saving advances to help us write these diseases into the history books.

Many share in the passage of this historic legislation that honors the legacy of Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden. Most notably, a critical catalytic role was played by Act for NIH, a non-partisan campaign for biomedical research founded by MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors (BOV) member Jed Manocherian. Additional leadership was shown by MD Anderson’s Governmental Relations team, led by Mark Moreno, our BOV Governmental Affairs Committee, led by Wayne Gibbens and Sam Susser, and BOV member Ed Bosarge, who inspired advancements in regenerative medicine. This achievement serves as a shining example of how MD Anderson’s highly respected BOV harnesses its passion in Making Cancer History.

At MD Anderson, our scientists and clinicians persist in our long campaign against cancer. Since its launch in 2012, our Moon Shots Program™, which inspired the national call to action, already has shifted the paradigm in the united fight against cancer and continues to find innovative ways to accelerate the prevention and cure of cancer. The 21st Century Cures Act provides rocket fuel to propel us all to greater advances and sustain our nation’s leadership in medicine and science.