February 11, 2016
How the moon shots are progressing
BY Scott Merville
After extensive internal and external peer review, MD Anderson expanded its Moon Shots Program by adding six new moon shots to its focused effort to reduce cancer deaths by accelerating the conversion of scientific discoveries into new treatments and prevention programs.
Leaders of the six new moon shots described their innovative projects on Cancer News Line podcasts in late 2015.
New approaches to early detection, prevention, classifying the molecular and biological characteristics of tumors, deploying targeted therapy, expanding the use of immunotherapy and developing new combination treatments are discussed in the podcasts.
These moon shots launched as pilots in 2014 and became full moon shots a year later in September 2015
- Glioblastoma: Co-leaders Amy Heimberger, M.D., and Frederick Lang, M.D., discuss new approaches in immunotherapy, targeted therapy and use of oncolytic viruses.
- B-cell lymphoma: Co-leaders Michael Wang, M.D., and Richard Champlin, M.D., review plans for personalized therapy, new immunotherapies and molecular profiling to understand treatment resistance.
- High-risk multiple myeloma: Leader Robert Orlowski, M.D., Ph.D., talks about innovative clinical trials and studies address the issues facing those with high-risk disease.
- HPV-related cancers: Co-leaders Erich Sturgis, M.D., and Cathy Eng, M.D., discuss prevention and early detection initiatives and new efforts to treat these diseases, which include cervical, oropharyngeal, anal and genital cancers.
- Colorectal cancer: Co-leader Scott Kopetz, M.D., Ph.D., explains projects to better categorize colorectal cancer types to improve treatment and to provide personalized immunotherapy.
- Pancreatic cancer: Co-leader Anirban Maitra, M.B.B.S., relates programs for early detection, liquid biopsies and new applications of immunotherapy.
The Moon Shots Program, launched in 2013, focuses on accelerating the conversion of scientific knowledge into advances that reduce deaths from cancer. There are now 12 moon shots, including the six initial programs for breast and ovarian cancer, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, lung cancer, melanoma, myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukemia and prostate cancer.
Ten moon shots platforms provide deep expertise and advanced technology for moon shots projects.