UCSF Proposes Breast Cancer Initiative for White House's Cancer Moonshot

By Mike Billings

Vice President Joe Biden made the opening and closing remarks at Wednesday's White House Cancer Moonshot Summit.

Three UC San Francisco faculty members participated in Wednesday’s White House Cancer Moonshot Summit, at which the University of California committed to a new transformative model for health care delivery for breast cancer patients.

Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, led the University of California breast cancer proposal, titled “OneSource,” a joint commitment from the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), University of California Health, the Athena Breast Health Network, Quantum Leap Healthcare Collaborative and Salesforce.

Portrait of Laura Esserman
Laura Esserman, MD, MBA

The breast cancer initiative proposes introducing the use of standard checklists for cancer care documentation as well as enabling feedback and multiple connections to registries, trials and research.

“In the same way data aggregation has transformed such industries as communications, retail, and financial services, the intelligent application of patient clinical trial data will be a disruptive technology that drives the personalization of cancer medicine,” according to a fact sheet from the White House announcing the initiative.

The new model evolved from experience that includes personalizing screening and prevention for over 100,000 breast cancer patients in the Athena Breast Health Network and the launch of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute-funded WISDOM study.

The UC initiative was one of 37 new public- and private-sector actions announced during the summit to drive progress toward ending cancer as we know it.

UC scientists were also involved in two other commitments: a strategic computing partnership between the National Cancer Institute and several national laboratories, including Lawrence Livermore National Labratory, to apply advanced supercomputing to analyze preclinical and molecular interaction data; and the creation of an open access resource for sharing cancer data through the NCI’s Genomic Data Commons.

In addition to Esserman, UCSF’s Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, and Atul Butte, MD, PhD, joined more than 350 researchers, oncologists and other care providers, data and technology experts, patients, families and patient advocates at the summit, held at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Vice President Joe Biden convened the summit as a national day of action meant to advance the goal of doubling the rate of progress in understanding, preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer. The day also included more than 270 smaller regional summits across the United States to address the same topics.

At the Washington event, Esserman, who is director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center and co-leader of the Breast Oncology Program at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, also was an “ignite” speaker for the summit session regarding recruiting and retaining participants in clinical research.

The national summit was UCSF’s latest involvement in the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, PhD, visited UCSF on Feb. 27 as part of a national “listening tour” they launched to better understand the state of cancer research and care. In March, Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, and other top UCSF leaders met with the vice president’s staff in Washington, D.C., to follow up on a number of issues the vice president raised during his campus visit. In April, Mitchel Berger, MD, and Bluestone were named to a Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific experts, cancer leaders and patient advocates to help to guide the national initiative.

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