During President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union Address, he revealed one of his last agenda items regarding the search for a cure for cancer. This national effort to eradicate a disease plaguing the lives of millions has been a long time coming.
Vice President Joe Biden has been chosen to oversee the collaboration with Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center, which is playing a lead role in the increasing effort to find a cure. Obama referred to this effort as a “moon shot,” which is an accurate reflection of the bold announcement.
The quest to cure cancer has been ongoing for decades, and even with the major advancements in medicine and treatment, there is no guarantee that one can prevent the spread of cancer or cure it completely.
Since opening its doors in 1986, Moffitt Cancer Center has dedicated its efforts to the prevention and cure for cancer. Its resources are used to treat patients, educate on prevention awareness and research treatments and a cure.
Although Moffitt Cancer Center has received numerous generous contributions from donors — such as the National Cancer Institute and big names such as former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula — receiving government assistance of this caliber is crucial for the advancement of medical treatment.
A conglomeration of national cancer institutions have been involved in the collaboration as well, contributing what they believe can help with the search for a cure.
Unfortunately, a recurring problem that stunts the spread of information is the miscommunication within different institutions, as mentioned in the Tampa Bay Times. Research from one institution is often not communicable to another due to the differences in its format or dialogue.
A general system of communication is crucial for this “moon shot” in order to guarantee that all resources and contributions can be used toward the same common goal.
Additionally, Moffitt specializes in precision medicine and immunotherapy, which involves focusing on the immune system to cure cancer. They are ready to test new treatments, but have been unable to do so in the past because of lack of funding.
When it comes to medicinal research, funding is the key to successfully making advancements toward a cure. Even though there are thousands of organizations and charities that focus their efforts in raising money for different types of cancer research, there is never enough to fulfill the needs of most research centers.
Federal funding toward the Moffitt Cancer Center has varied over the past few years, which makes this nationwide attention a turning point for Tampa’s cancer efforts.
However, there’s no guarantee help from the federal government will actually lead to the discovery of a cure. The goal of this funding is to provide unity among varying institutional research, publicize the issue in order to gain donors and allow centers like Moffitt to test their theories.
The fight to end cancer may be a popular issue, but unfortunately, it has never received the attention it needs until now.
The president’s dedication to curing cancer may only ever be a dream. However, the allocation of resources toward research is the first step to making that dream a reality.
Sarah Pineda is a freshman majoring in mass communications.