MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program: 5 things to know

  While its name was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s ambitious goal to put a man on the moon, the Moon Shots Program™, which was first inspired by MD Anderson’s fourth full-time president Ronald DePinho, M.D., has a different objective: to quickly and effectively turn scientific discoveries into advances in cancer care. Here are five things that we’d like patients and caregivers to know about the Moon Shots Program. 1. It’s a unique initiative Cancer is a very complicated disease. While we’ve made tremendous advances in our understanding of how it works in the past decade or so, the traditional academic medical setting makes it hard to bring experts together to translate this knowledge in a way that impacts patients. The Moon Shots Program was conceived around the idea that we could improve patients’ lives faster if we brought together experts from various areas, and armed them with key resources to better utilize new knowledge. This is what the Moon Shots Program does. It’s about team-based approaches to key problems in cancer. It’s about bringing together experts from many areas in a unique community empowered by research platforms that provide resources that are ordinarily difficult to obtain in the traditional academic medical research setting. With regular scientific review of our processes and progress, our goal is to achieve measurable impacts for patients. It’s about leveraging generous philanthropic support to tackle research areas and clinical initiatives that might otherwise be difficult to fund and drive. It’s about the Moon Shot™ teams using this support to gain new funding from additional sources so we can help more patients. 2. We’ve made significant...