US President Joe Biden made a stunning assertion during an event at the White House focusing on expanding access to mental health care: Biden was asked what he would do if he could achieve anything at all, to which he responded, “I’d cure cancer. His administration, he said, has effectively “ended cancer as we know it.” The claim has been met with a mix of emotions. The President’s personal connection to cancer is well-known. Having lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer in 2015, Biden’s determination to find a cure has been a driving force behind his efforts. During his 2020 campaign, he pledged to prioritize the fight against cancer and has consistently made it a focus of his administration.
In 2016, during his tenure as Vice President under the Obama administration, Biden spearheaded the “Cancer Moonshot” program. This initiative aimed to accelerate cancer research, foster collaboration among scientists and healthcare institutions, and bring new treatments to patients faster. Although the initial program ended, Biden revived it in 2022 with even more ambitious goals. Under the revived “Cancer Moonshot” program, Biden set an ambitious target to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years. He also pledged to make previously fatal cancers treatable in the future, offering hope to countless families affected by this devastating disease.
Yet, as we celebrate the advancements and breakthroughs made in the fight against cancer, we must also remain cautious and grounded in reality. Cancer is a multifaceted disease with various forms and causes, and it affects individuals differently. Eradicating cancer entirely remains an elusive goal, but the continued efforts and investments in research and treatment are critical to improving outcomes and quality of life for patients.
Last year, scientists discovered a miracle drug dostarlimab that had helped cure twelve patients of rectal cancer. The patients were found without any signs of the tumour after going through a series of medical exams such as physical exam, endoscopy, bioscopy, PET scans, and MRI scans. Also, none of the participants reported any severe side-effects either, said the research paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers had set out to find whether dostarlimab, followed by standard chemoradiotherapy and standard surgery is an effective treatment for solid tumours. And the result pleasantly surprised the world. However, it would be long before there is a comprehensive cure for the cancer. And until then prevention will remain the best approach to deal with the disease that is responsible for killing millions of people.
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