Inspired by JFK's Push to Land on the Moon, Cancer Center Boosts Efforts to Find Cures
Today, the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston announced it would take one giant leap in fighting cancer. Launching in February 2013, its program will aim to reduce cancer deaths from eight specific types of cancer, find cures, and boost prevention efforts over the next 10 years. The project is estimated to cost about $3 billion dollars over the next decade, and the center already has tens of millions to jumpstart efforts. The dramatic effort is inspired by John F. Kennedy's push for space exploration in the 1960s, specifically when the former president insisted America land on the moon and do other challenging tasks "not because they are easy, but because they are hard." "When Kennedy stood up there on September 1962, he didn't say that we're going to study how to get to the moon," Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson, told ABC News. "He said we are going to the moon. Then the nation rallied to make sure we went to the moon." While cancer death rates have been falling since the 1990s, the disease is still amajor threat. In the United States, the Associated Press reports, estimates are that more than 500,000 people will die from cancer this year.