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Statement from American Society of Hematology President Charles S. Abrams, MD, on ASH Recommendations for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative

(WASHINGTON, April 26, 2016) – Today the American Society of Hematology (ASH) met with the White House to share scientific recommendations for the National Cancer Moonshot, an initiative spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden that aims to make a decade’s worth of progress in cancer research in the next five years. ASH is an important participant in this effort, not only because hematologists are developing breakthrough therapies for leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, but also because key insights in the understanding of blood disorders have advanced health care on many fronts. Even small investments in hematology have yielded large dividends for many other disciplines.

Hematologists are pioneers in several fields that are revolutionizing cancer research, including immunotherapy, cell therapy, and genome sequencing – areas of study that are now showing great promise in treating solid tumors in addition to blood cancers. The ASH Agenda for Hematology Research, developed by Society experts to help stakeholders navigate, prioritize, and build consensus around the most promising areas in hematologic research, urges further exploration of these approaches. With these research priorities in mind, ASH has prepared recommended action items for the Moonshot initiative, such as appropriation of funds, incentives for data sharing, and opportunities to increase collaboration and access to clinical trials, including in childhood cancer. The recommendations, which were developed by an ASH task force focused on precision medicine, are designed to provide direction and focus to ensure that reasonable and sustainable investment choices are made.

ASH applauds the Administration for its commitment to supporting future treatments and cures for patients with cancer and looks forward to continuing to serve as a resource for key officials steering this important effort.

Read the ASH recommendations for the National Cancer Moonshot at http://www.hematology.org/Research/Recommendations/Moonshot-Initiative/

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. The official journal of ASH is Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online.

Amanda Szabo, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-552-4914