09/19/16 – Vice President Biden Welcomes Trilateral Cooperation on the Cancer Moonshot Initiative with the Republic of Korea and Japan

White house

Vice President Biden
September 19, 2016


Vice President Biden convened a trilateral meeting of health experts from the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) to discuss trilateral collaboration in support of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Led by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Japan Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare Yasuhisa Shiozaki, and ROK Minister of Health and Welfare Chung Chin-youb, officials from the three governments reviewed existing areas of cooperation and explored new opportunities to work together. Discussion focused on enhancing support for cancer research; expanding prevention, screening, and diagnostic measures; and standardizing and sharing data across borders, all with the goal of ending cancer as we know it.

Complementing efforts to link the work of experts from health research and cancer institutes from our three countries, our shared aims are to create an integrated, multi-disciplinary, international consortium of state-of-the-art biomedical centers; to contribute to the collaborative integration of international cancer proteogenomic efforts by making research data and assays publicly available across international borders; to test clinical questions of drug response and toxicity using proteogenomic signatures that help identify the patient-specific treatments for use against tumors; and to encourage global data scientists to apply deep- learning algorithms in analyzing growing proteogenomic datasets to better understand the diversity of populations, people, and cancers around the world. Toward these ends, agencies in Japan and the ROK have prepared memoranda on cooperation in cancer research with counterparts in the United States.

Other participants included U.S. Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, and National Cancer Institute Acting Director Doug Lowy; Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development President Makoto Suematsu and National Cancer Center President Hitoshi Nakagama, National Cancer Research Institute Director Hiroyuki Mano; Republic of Korea National Institute of Health Director General Park Do-joon and National Cancer Center President Lee Kang hyun.

President Obama launched this effort when he called upon Vice President Biden in his 2016 State of the Union Address to lead a Cancer “Moonshot” Initiative to eliminate cancer as we know it, and then pledged $1 billion to achieve a decade’s worth of advances in five years. To make more therapies available to more patients and improve our ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage, Vice President Biden has asked developed nations to rise to this challenge. At their trilateral summit on March 31, President Obama, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and ROK President Park Geun-hye agreed to trilateral cooperation to harness the expertise and spirit of U.S., Japanese, and Korean innovation and dedication to cancer research. This cooperation builds upon the shared commitment among the United States, ROK, and Japan to promote strong, constructive, and future-oriented regional and global relations with a view to enhancing peace and stability for all.