American Society of Hematology

ASH Recommendations for the Moonshot Initiative

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is the world's largest professional society serving more than 17,000 clinicians and scientists from nearly 100 countries as they work to conquer blood diseases, including cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Hematologists have been pioneers in the fields of cancer immunotherapy, cellular therapy, stem cell transplantation, gene therapy, and stem cell biology with many discoveries made by hematologists translated into other fields of medicine.

With the advances gained through an increasingly sophisticated understanding of how the blood system functions, hematologists have changed the face of medicine. Breakthrough therapies for blood disorders benefit those patients who suffer from leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. As a result, children are routinely cured of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with chemotherapy and drugs instead of potentially dangerous transplants; more than 90 percent of patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), a fast-moving, deadly disease can now be cured with a drug derived from vitamin A; previously lethal chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is effectively treated with well-tolerated pills; new spectacularly effective oral pills have been recently approved for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL); and multiple myeloma survival has been prolonged three- to four-fold by entirely new classes of drugs.

Moonshot Initiative Updates

Vice President Biden Releases Cancer Moonshot Report

Vice President Joe Biden released a report from the Cancer Moonshot Task Force on October 17, outlining the Administration's accomplishments during the last year and the initiative's goals for 2017 and beyond. The report highlights more than a dozen ongoing and future initiatives that have been launched as part of the effort, which was first announced by President Obama during his final State of the Union address in January. The report also notes the challenges posed by a lack of dedicated funding for the effort and calls on congressional leaders to approve additional funding for cancer research. Finally, the report serves as a blueprint for the next administration, offering suggestions about how the initiative could move forward.

Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel Recommendations Align with ASH's Priorities

The Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel recently released a report highlighting key research opportunities that should be supported so as to accelerate progress against cancer. ASH submitted recommendations to the Panel based on the ASH Agenda for Hematology Research and ASH’s Recommendations to the Moonshot Initiative (see below). The Society is pleased to see that several of its recommendations are in alignment with those of the Blue Ribbon Panel. These include: proper infrastructure for data sharing, robust clinical trials for pediatric hematologic malignancies, development of national clinical trial networks, leveraging novel therapeutic approaches such as immunotherapies for the treatment hematologic malignancies and advancing research on hematologic tumor development and progression. The Society looks forward to working with the federal agencies on these important priority areas highlighted by the Blue Ribbon Panel.


ASH strongly supports the Moonshot Initiative and would be pleased to serve as an additional resource of scientific expertise for the Administration. The following table provides specific examples of possible next steps for the Moonshot Initiative as they relate to all cancers, including hematologic malignancies. ASH recommends the inclusion of these priorities in the Initiative’s roadmap with the ultimate goal of dramatic improvements in cancer care.

The Impact of Hematology Research

The field of hematology has made significant contributions to human health over the last hundred years. Learn how advances in the understanding of the blood system have led to improved outcomes for patients with hematologic diseases.

Priorities for the Next Era of Hematology Research Support

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