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Moffitt Leaders Meet with White House Senior Officials to Discuss “Moonshot” Cancer Initiative

January 29, 2016

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Drs. Tom Sellers and Bill Dalton led a delegation from the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) on Jan. 29 at the White House. They met with senior officials from the Office of the Vice President and the Executive Office of the President. The goal was to discuss how ORIEN could serve as a model for nationwide collaborations in cancer research.

White House meeting

President Barack Obama outlined a vision for a “moonshot” cancer initiative during his State of the Union address. He hopes to accelerate the development of more effective cancer treatments. Vice President Joe Biden has been tapped to lead this effort. With its focus on leveraging big data and genomic technology shared across institutional boundaries, the ORIEN partnership exemplifies many of the principles in the vision shared by the president and vice president to combat cancer on a national scale.

During the hour-long meeting, each of the 11 ORIEN member institutions shared their motivation for joining, the investment they have made, and the benefits to the patients they serve.

“There are many ideas being presented on how to achieve the moonshot initiative. However, ORIEN is not just an idea. It is well-established. We have consented more than 130,000 patients, demonstrated that we can share data and contribute our individual experiences and expertise to further develop the partnership,” said Dr. Sellers.

ORIEN is the world’s largest precision medicine collaboration to address cancer. The ORIEN partnership was founded in 2013 by Moffitt and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and now includes nine other cancer centers and several more have applied to join. It is also aligned with the Department of Defense’s Cancer Center of Excellence in hopes of improving access to the latest in cancer therapies for our nation’s men and women in uniform, and their families.

Read more about Moffitt's role in Vice President Biden's initiative to cure cancer.