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Cancer Research In 2016: Obama, Silicon Valley Pledge Support In The Fight Against Cancer

31 December 2016, 7:00 am EST By Athena Chan Tech Times
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Cancer in its many forms has already claimed many lives across the world. A cure for the killer disease has yet to be found but research on treatments are continuous around the globe.

Whether we are a step closer to finding a cure to this killer is unknown, but what's for sure is that there is no lack of support in the battle for our lives as major investors pulled through to give the fight the big push that it needs.

U.S. President Barack Obama's 'Moonshot'

During his State of The Union address earlier this year, US President Barack Obama that an additional funding will be made for cancer cure research. The Cancer Moonshot Task Force was led by Vice President Joe Biden whose involvement is more personal as his own son died of Brain Cancer in 2015. The President's moonshot goal of completely eradicating cancer was accompanied by a budget goal of $1 billion.

More recently, the President signed a bill that will give way to a much bigger drug treatment research fund of $6.5 billion. As the President signed together with Moonshot head and Vice President Joe Biden, the 21st Century Cures Act will move to find cures for the medical challenges that are facing many people today.

Deloitte Cancer XPRIZE

Following President Obama's moonshot goals, international firm Deloitte supported the initiative by sponsoring the XPRIZE for visionaries to submit their ideas and innovations not just for a cure to cancer, but for an early detection test, much like a pregnancy test.

Led by oncologist Dr. Daniel Kraft, the initiative aims to bring visionaries together to look at the treatment, detection and treatment of cancer from every possible angle in a multi-disciplinary level to ensure speedy progress.

Microsoft's Artificial Intelligence

Taking on a different angle to understanding cancer, Microsoft recently announced their plans to aid the battle against cancer by introducing their AI named Hanover. Microsoft's machine's main purpose is to ingest information about a particular type of cancer and give the best and possibly most effective combination of drugs.

Cancer affects different people in different ways which means treatments are also personalized. With currently over 800 different types of drugs and vaccines in the market to combat the killer disease, doctors may find it difficult to provide the most effective combination of drugs for a particular patient and that is where Hanover comes in. Hanover is just one of Microsoft's projects in developing machine-based approaches to the study and treatment of cancer.

Sean Parker's Cancer Institute

Former president of Facebook and founder of Napster and Spotify Sean Parker recently founded the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in finding a vaccine for cancer. This project is in collaboration with six research institutes and universities such as Caltech and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

With Parker's investment of $250 million, the goal of this collaboration aims to use algorithms to find cancer markers and take on a genetic view of not just cancer treatment, but cancer immunization.

Just calling it a "moonshot" expresses how difficult the battle is, but what's hopeful about these efforts is not just the amount of money put into funding research which indicates the level of importance that is placed on this endeavor, but the fact that we are still ready to fight.

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