WASHINGTON (AP) – The administration of President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the first cancer-focused initiative under its Advanced Health Research Agency that aims to help doctors more easily distinguish between cancer cells and healthy tissue during surgery and treat patients better. To help improve outcomes for
The administration’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA-H, is launching a Precision Surgical Interventions program, soliciting ideas from the public and private sectors to develop better surgical interventions to treat cancer in the coming decades. How to dramatically improve cancer outcomes. Disease.
ARPA-H is modeled after the military-focused DARPA, which gave birth to the Internet and GPS. The administration hopes the new investment will provide tools that will help surgeons avoid healthy nerves and blood vessels while ensuring they remove all cancer cells.
ARPA-H, along with the administration’s “cancer moonshot,” is a key part of Biden’s “unity agenda,” announced during his 2022 State of the Union address to fight cancer, improve veterans’ health, and bring Washington to bipartisanship. was done to bring together the base. Mental health more accessible.
RELATED: Cancer Moonshot Project Launched by President Biden 5 Years Ago Leads to Multiple Successes
Announcing the initiative in a statement on Thursday, Biden called it “a major milestone in the fight to end cancer as we know it.”
“Using the power of innovation is essential to turning more cancers from death sentences to curable diseases and achieving our ambitious goal of halving cancer mortality on time,” Biden said. “As we have seen throughout our history, from developing vaccines to sequencing genomes, when the US government invests in innovation, we can make breakthroughs that would otherwise be impossible, and save lives on a massive scale “
The initiative could significantly improve cancer treatment and provide scientific breakthroughs that have as yet unknown applications, said Aarti Prabhakar, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology.
“It’s true that many cancer treatments still start with surgery,” he told The Associated Press in an interview. “So being really smart and attacking and developing new technologies to improve that first step could really revolutionize how we’re able to treat cancer for so many Americans.”
Prabhakar, a former DARPA director, said most federal research dollars are designed to go to university or government laboratories, while the ARPA-H program will search more broadly.
“They are completely focused on those goals, and whoever needs to get there, they will try to make sure they come to the table,” he said. “What you’re looking for is quality of ideas and then the ability to be really daring and fearless and experiment and then start prototyping in the real world.”
The agency is hosting an event in Chicago in September for interested researchers with the aim of speedy identification and approval of projects.
Prabhakar acknowledged that there are risks involved in the ARPA-H model, but added that even in failure, most projects have significant payoffs.
“The mission is to reach things that aren’t obvious or possible today – and to do that, you have to take risks,” he said. “This process allows you to spot things that can make a big impact on getting things done and often I’ve seen the overall program succeed even though some of the individual pieces aren’t successful.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs is also announcing Thursday that veterans exposed to toxic burn pits during their service will be able to access breast cancer risk assessments and mammograms, regardless of their age or enrollment in VA healthcare. Be And on Tuesday, the department announced it would study the link between toxic exposure and additional cancers of deployed service members.
See Also: Biden Headlines Cancer Moonshot National Event
While ARPA-H is also open to other research objectives, Danielle Carnival, director of the White House Cancer Moonshot, said she wanted the agency’s work to meet its goals of reducing mortality and improving outcomes. called the “central pillar” of the plans. from cancer.
“I hope that some really cool ideas and new projects come out of that call,” he said.
White House deputy chief of staff Bruce Reid said the ARPA-H announcement helps complement Biden’s efforts “to show that government can still work, that both sides can come together, and We can get the job done.”
“Our efforts on mental health, cancer, veterans, fentanyl, are all priorities that affect everyone, regardless of party,” Reid said.
more from cbs news