By Emmanuel Freeman
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Renowned cancer specialist and TSU alum, Dr. Edith P. Mitchell, is part of a panel that recently submitted 10 cutting-edge scientific recommendations to help speed the development of cancer cures.
Mitchell, clinical professor and director of the Sidney Kimmel Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities at Thomas Jefferson University, served on the Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific leaders and cancer patient advocates named to provide direction for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Moonshot Initiative.
President Obama announced the $1 billion initiative as part of his State of the Union Address in January and named Biden to head it. The Moonshot aims to make more therapies available to more patients, while also improving efforts to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage.
In September, Mitchell’s panel submitted their report, with recommendations aimed at the Moonshot goal of making 10 years of progress in five years.
“Serving on the Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel is one of the most exciting things that has occurred in my career,” said Mitchell, who is also outgoing president of the National Medical Association. “As members of the panel, we were able to take what we know from experience from cancer and working with cancer research to come up with these recommendations, which we are certain will help the vice president in his work.”
The panel recommended that the Moonshot consider the following:
- Establish a network for direct patient involvement
- Create a clinical trials network devoted exclusively to immunotherapy
- Develop ways to overcome resistance to therapy
- Build a national cancer data ecosystem
- Intensify research on the major drivers of childhood cancers
- Minimize cancer treatment’s debilitating side effects
- Expand use of proven prevention and early detection strategies
- Mine past patient data to predict future patient outcomes
- Develop a 3D cancer atlas
- Develop new cancer technologies
Mitchell, a retired Air Force brigadier general, is one of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s nominees for Tennessee State’s University Board of Trustees.