Dartmouth Cancer Center believes in Biden’s cancer moonshot

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 12:35 AM EDT
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LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) - President Joe Biden declared on Monday his “Cancer Moonshot” plan to cut cancer deaths by half in 25 years. Dartmouth Comprehensive Cancer Center leaders say that goal is realistic. In fact, the deputy director is confident scientists will reach that feat even sooner.

For 50 years, Dartmouth Hitchcock’s cancer center has contributed to life-saving, global research. Leaders there say scientific breakthroughs for cancer therapies and treatments happen every single day, like discovering how a tumor develops or a better way to stop bad cells from spreading.

Dartmouth Comprehensive Cancer Center deputy director Dr. Linda Vahdat says while scientists have uncovered effective treatments for some leukemias and breast cancers, for example, cures aren’t all-encompassing because each cancer is completely unique. “We’ve made a lot of progress in a lot of different areas. There are still some diseases which are really, really tough, and those are diseases like pancreatic cancer or brain tumors, which need a lot of work,” Vahdat said. “So, we’ve made a lot of progress in certain types of cancers, and we’ve made some progress, but we’re not there yet, for other types of cancers.

Vahdat says researching skin cancers should also be a priority since rates are rising more rapidly than any other type of cancer due to prolonged sun exposure.

Through the annual Prouty race, Dartmouth has raised millions for cancer research.