February 09, 2023

ACR-Backed Cancer Moonshot Relaunch Marks Effort's One-Year Anniversary

The White House released a factsheet about the Cancer Moonshot Feb. 2, its first anniversary since relaunch, announcing the reignition of the effort to end the disease as we know it. In his Feb. 7 State of the Union address, President Biden highlighted the effort and its goal to slash the nation’s cancer death rate by 50% in the next 25 years.

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) was an early supporter of the Cancer Moonshot, in early spring 2022, meeting with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to offer the College as a resource for the nonpartisan effort. The ongoing dialogue with HHS resulted in the secretary of the agency visiting an ACR-accredited mammography site in Nevada to stress the importance of regular breast cancer screening.

The Moonshot factsheet includes new initiatives under the effort and 2022 successes. Also included in the factsheet is President Biden’s plan to appoint six members to the National Cancer Advisory Board, which plays a vital role in guiding the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in setting the course for the national cancer research program.

Newly announced projects under the plan include an NCI-launched public-private partnership to help pediatric cancer patients' families, and $10 million in funding awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for 22 cancer centers to widen access to screenings and promote early detection of disease. President Biden plans to encourage Congress to reauthorize the National Cancer Act, which 52 years ago created the nation’s leading federal cancer research institute.

As part of the ACR’s Moonshot meetings with HHS staff, the College and its volunteers outlined ACR efforts to reduce cancer deaths among racial and ethnic minorities, rural and urban residents, and the under- and uninsured populations. Specifically, the ACR is working to make imaging research more inclusive of these groups to ensure care improvements can be realized across populations and identify populations that may particularly benefit from certain screening or treatments.

These ACR efforts are already bearing fruit:

  • The ACR Center for Research and Innovation™ (CRI)-managed Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST) is among the most successful NCI-funded trials at attracting Black participation; 21% of U.S. women in the study are Black. This growing accrual rate is more than double the 9% average Black cohort in NCI-funded trials.
  • The ACR COVID Imaging Research Registry (CIRR) has received more than 108,000 thoracic, neuro and cardiac imaging studies representing nearly 41,000 patients. Black Americans comprise 48% of the cases and Hispanics comprise 9%. CIRR has submitted more than 61,000 imaging studies to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering-funded Medical Imaging and Data Resource Center (MIDRC) to foster machine learning innovation aid future research.
  • In 2021, the Radiology Health Equity Coalition (RHEC) was formed to address imaging and health outcomes disparities. RHEC, CRI and ACR staff and volunteers are working to: identify sites and providers in underserved areas that may want to take part in clinical research; equip them with resources to identify projects to participate in and provide or identify tools needed to participate. Contact Carla Brathwaite, ACR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Manager, if you would like to receive information about participating in this effort.
  • The New IDEAS study seeks to understand the association between amyloid PET and Alzheimer’s and other dementia outcomes. The study is enrolling at least 2,000 Black Americans, at least 2,000 Hispanics, and up to 3,000 people from other races. The ACR is working with the Alzheimer’s Association, the University of North Carolina Center for Health Equity Research, and the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research to design and implement community-based participant outreach. This includes culturally tailored materials, direct feedback from patients and the community, targeted engagement with imaging and dementia specialists who care for Black and/or Hispanic populations, and implementation of a volunteer study champion network to engage and build trust with communities. This framework can improve diversity in future research.

For more information about the Cancer Moonshot, please contact Katie Grady, ACR Government Affairs Director.