Phoenix Children's Hospital, City To Host Cancer MoonShot 2020 Pediatric Cancer Research

By Andrew Bernier
Published: Friday, February 19, 2016 - 2:43pm
Updated: Monday, February 22, 2016 - 8:56am
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Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program is a four-year project designed to explore new ways to fight cancer.

Arizona leaders gathered at the capitol Thursday to welcome a new research initiative for pediatric cancer. Initiated by a Phoenix hospital, a national consortium hopes to dramatically change how treatment centers approach the second-leading cause of death for children.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital launched the Pediatrics Consortium of Cancer MoonShot 2020, a coalition of private and public partners to enhance cancer treatments. Focusing on immune system therapy and targeted treatments, Phoenix is among ten children’s hospitals nationwide to join the MoonShot program.

The initiative is led by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who said this consortium is needed to further research.

“Amazingly nobody asks which piece of the cell are we treating?" said Soon-Shiong. "Are we treating it in the nucleus where the DNA resides? Are we treating in the cytoplasm where all these proteins occur? Because if you’re doing targeted therapy we need to treat all these proteins. If we’re doing chemotherapy we’re treating the nucleus. But we have no knowledge, until now.”

The goal is to complete Phase II clinical trials of 20 cancers types in more than 20,000 patients in the next two years to inform Phase III trials and then develop a vaccine-based immunotherapy by 2020.

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