“Collaborative oncology” necessary for Cancer Moonshot success

The Cancer Moonshot’s success relies  on ‘collaborative oncology.’

Just last month, the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) hosted our first in-person/hybrid research symposium since going virtual due to the pandemic. More than 100 researchers from around the world joined in person, and an additional 100+ joined virtually. The energy and commitment of these scientists should be a comfort to those with neuroendocrine cancer.

NETRF funds researchers who typically may not have access to career-changing funding from larger sources (NIH, NCI) because the type of cancer they study is so rare. Neuroendocrine cancer (and neuroendocrine tumors or NETs) affects approximately 12,000 Americans annually, and approximately 175,000 people in the US are living with NETs.

The Biden administration’s Cancer Moonshot is a bold and ambitious initiative that seeks to accelerate progress in cancer research and treatment. To achieve this goal, the administration is investing in research and development, expanding access to care, and improving the quality of care. To ensure success, the administration is also relying on the continued collaboration of scientists and researchers from around the world. This collaboration is essential to share knowledge, develop new treatments, and advance our understanding of all cancers.

NETRF has always supported and encouraged collaboration among our global grantees working to diagnose, treat, and eventually cure uncommon cancers. Even an unsuccessful research project yields pertinent information that, when shared, can spark new hypotheses that might benefit future research and provide insight into the limitations of existing theories and methods, which can help scientists develop new approaches to their research.

NETRF recognizes that taking risks in funding research is crucial to driving progress. We are proud to have the flexibility to fund several exploratory, proof-of-concept projects each year, and we encourage collaboration between scientists and institutions within our grants program.

“Collaborative oncology” is critical to the success of the Biden administration’s Cancer Moonshot and its mission: to reduce the cancer death rate by half within 25 years.

All cancer research is essential to achieving this collective goal by 2047, and that must include research of rare cancers. NETRF is committed to funding researchers focused on discovering new therapies for NETs, and fostering a healthy, robust, and collaborative scientific environment that benefits and supports all discoveries in the battle against neuroendocrine cancer.

Elyse Gellerman is the CEO of the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation. Since its inception in 2005, NETRF has funded research in 15 countries, 17 states and awarded $34.3 million in research grants.