The Dark Side of The Moon

| May 1, 2016

darksideWith all due respect to Pink Floyd, it seems there is some growing concern the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative is running off course a bit with its recent selection of the “Blue Ribbon Panel” and who is at the table for high level discussions concerning this initiative.  I made some remarks to this in a recent webinar looking at previous national efforts and the current level of funding and the importance of pathology and pathologists to be a large part of this discussion as data miners in addition to our roles as data recorders and data gatherers.  Julie McDowell, Community Manager at the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has some interesting recent insights into this with reference to a blog by a radiation oncologist that is worth a read.  With thanks and attribution to Julie and CAP, I think many readers will find this post useful entitled “Cancer Moonshot: Already Off-Course?”:

Since President Obama announced the Cancer Moonshot Initiative during his 2016 State of the Union address earlier this year, skeptics have expressed concerns about the limited funding secured to end cancer. The recent announcement of panel members overseeing the effort is unlikely to sway critics.

Absent from the panel are representatives from three core specialties present at nearly every tumor board– pathology, radiology, and radiation oncology—wrote Dr. Matthew Katz, a radiation oncologist, in a blog published earlier this week on KevinMD. “Any community cancer program, such as mine, would be deficient if these cancer specialists didn’t show up,” he blogged. “Why should we feel differently in this case? Were these specialties excluded accidentally? I’m sure there are some excellent people in these fields to provide balance to the panel.”

What do you think of the lack of pathologists steering the Cancer Moonshot Initiative? What are your thoughts about the potential to end cancer through this initiative? Share your thoughts here or on CAPConnect for CAP members.


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