Live from Philly: Joe Biden Discusses Cancer Research By Luke Perry
Joe and Jill Biden, co-chairs of the Biden Cancer Initiative, spoke at the National Constitution Center today as part of a forum on cancer research sponsored by Axios.
The former Vice President described the fight against cancer as an issue with real bipartisan support. “Millions of people are contracting cancer and millions are dying each year,” Biden explained.
Richard Nixon was well intended in declaring war on cancer, but according to Biden, “he had no soldiers.” Overcoming cancer is a movement, not an effort, with “much greater urgency now.”
Scientists have discovered 204 different types of cancer. "Therapies with the greatest promise are the focus on the front end,” Biden stated. People "just want to get a little more time," to walk a daughter down the aisle, or get to meet a grandchild.
The area of immunology reflects “enormous change in the field.” One day soon “when children get a physical, they will be vaccinated against certain forms of cancer.”
Cancer information used to be somewhat horded. Data sharing is now becoming commonplace. IBM offered the assistance of supercomputer Watson, which has read everything ever written on cancer. Silicon Valley helped the government develop a database listing all the ongoing cancer trials underway. America has cancer research memorandum with 10 countries, reflecting the global response.
Biden’s new book, Promise Me Dad, reflects his son Beau’s request of him to stay involved and not walk away from this issue. The book is “about finding purpose,” Biden explained, and provide hope and solace.
Luke Perry (@PolSciLukePerry) is Chair and Professor of Government at Utica College. He is in Philadelphia this week for the annual conference of the Northeastern Political Science Association.