Topics » Health   Dec. 22, 2011

If It's Not a War on Cancer, What Is It?

Our Moonshot Moment?

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Photo: NASA

A Wildfire?A Tide?A Fight for Peace?Our Moonshot Moment?A Battle With Love?A Team Sport?A Multi-Fronted War?

Our Moonshot Moment?

Dr. Ronald A. DePinho, president of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, says: "About 50 years ago, JFK made a famous speech and announced his intention to put a man on the moon. In the previous decade, there had been all these advances in aerospace and rocketry and so on. We could finally think of something as bold as going to the moon. In the past 48 months, there has been an historic confluence of events on the technological level that now puts us in a position to make a definitive assault on cancer -- capabilities that now allow us to not only to think about the next experiment or decreasing deaths by a few percentage points, but actually curing the disease. JFK said, 'We choose to go to the moon, in this decade ... because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energy and skills. Because that challenge is one we are willing to accept and one we are unwilling to postpone. And one which we intend to win.' This is our moonshot moment."

Photo Essay

Photo Essay