NIH, the Cancer Moonshot, Imetelstat
Is telomerase active in cancer cells?
Telomerase is silenced in most normal cells but is active in an estimated 85% to 95% of human cancer cells. As a result, cancer cells essentially become immortal. For this reason, some have called telomerase the “immortality enzyme.” Nevertheless, the telomeres in cancer cells are generally shorter than telomeres in normal cells
It is likely that NIH is closely following the TELOMERE trial (AbbVie combination with Imetelstat) for AML.
Imetelstat kills cancer-stem-cells (Pediatric AML, preclinical in mice and sponsored by NIH among others). That clinical trial is just getting off the ground.
Imetelstat, in combinations, has vast potential in most cancers. It is ideally suited for the Cancer Moonshot.
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• CANCER MOONSHOT℠
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Cancer Moonshot Reignited in 2022
On February 2, 2022, President Biden announced plans to reignite the Cancer Moonshot to end cancer as we know it.
As Vice President, in 2016, Joe Biden launched the Cancer Moonshot with the mission to accelerate the rate of progress against cancer. The cancer and patient community and medical researchers responded with tremendous energy and ingenuity.
At its launch, the Cancer Moonshot set forth three ambitious goals: to accelerate scientific discovery in cancer, foster greater collaboration, and improve the sharing of data.
On February 2, 2022, President Biden announced a reignition of the Cancer Moonshot, highlighting new goals: to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer—and, by doing these and more, to end cancer as we know it today.
By focusing on areas of cancer research that are most likely to benefit patients as a result of new investment, the Cancer Moonshot has brought together a large community of investigators and clinicians who are dedicated to expediting research to improve the lives of people with cancer and their loved ones.
Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016, authorizing $1.8 billion in funding for the Cancer Moonshot over 7 years. The funding must be appropriated each fiscal year (FY) over those 7 years. Congress appropriated $300 million to NCI for FY 2017, $300 million for FY 2018, $400 million for FY 2019, $195 million for FY 2020, and $195 million for FY 2021.