“Moon Shot” against cancer

The front-page of The Houston Chronicle today has some very exciting news. The headline reads “$3 billion aimed at tough cancers.”

This got my attention.

The famed MD Anderson right here in my lovely city is going after 8 of the deadliest, most difficult cancers, and has most definitely put its money where its mouth is. By sending $3 bil straight to the front lines, Anderson isn’t playing around. The 8 cancers on Anderson’s radar are lung cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma, Acute lyeloid leukemia (AML), Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Myelodysplastic syndrome, and triple-negative breast cancer. The newspaper article has this handy graphic that highlights the most pressing deets about the 8 cancers under seige.

The latter really got my attention, as all BC news does. What is triple-negative breast cancer, you might ask? It’s a particularly wily form of the dreaded disease that displays negative properties for estrogen- and progesteron reception as well as HER2 reception. Read a more detailed definition here,but suffice to say that this type of BC doesn’t respond to hormones, making it harder to treat.


This news is so hopeful in a landscape of cancer. A veritable ray of sunshine, the Moon Shots program has tons of potential and will surely make the kind of inroads to the “war of cancer” that President Nixon declared way back in 1971 and that has yet to come to fruition. The so-called war is almost as old as I am, and yet we see newly diagnosed cases and deaths from cancer in such shockingly high numbers. Bring on the Moon Shots program!

I have a lot more to say about this program, and will return to it after I finish my to-do list left to me by my favorite girl, who has been hard at work planning a first birthday party for her little piggie. Yes, you read that right: a party for a pig.

I’ll leave you with a quote about the Moon Shots program that has me smiling big this morning:

“In almost every disease, we have an example of something that works. Once you have a first step, it’s easier to take the second, the third.” – Gordon Mills, head of systems biology, MD Anderson

Here’s to giant steps being made toward these 8 deadly cancers. Three cheers for MDA!

11 Comments on ““Moon Shot” against cancer”

  1. Trevor Hicks says:

    It’s kind of interesting how the wimpy little melanoma has receded into our family’s memory hole, but it’s nice to see they’ve got that on the list as well.

    • Jody Hicks says:

      Yes, the three melanomas (the first wasn’t so wimpy!) I had back in the late ’90’s were long out of mind when another one was discovered just above my lip and removed about a month after Nancy’s mastectomy. So I am also glad to see that on the list. And wasn’t it an ovarian cancer that took Barb so young? This is all good news, and I agree that Eddie’s response is right on.

  2. Eddie says:

    Hopefully, as with the original moonshot, this ambitious and well-funded effort will spin off numerous other benefits beyond just the big 8. Kudos to MDA for foregoing the incremental approach. Sometimes you have to keep at something full-force for an extended period of time before you can make an honest assesment of its effectiveness. I feel confident that on the far side of this program we will see a major impact on not only treating cancer, but even curing it.
    To the moon!!

  3. Wonderful, wonderful news…my brother-in-law is a happily employed chaplain at MD Anderson and so I am very tuned in when I see anything about that MD Anderson. Thank you for sharing it. As an aside (or should it be the first thing I write?) Happy Birthday piggie!

  4. gozzygirl says:

    I love reading your blog. When you’re mad at things you take the words right out of my mouth. And your good news post today couldn’t be more timely after a crappy week at work. Keep posting the good stuff!

  5. Catherine says:

    Cheers! That’s wonderful news and I’m really impresed by that list of 8 to tackle. Here’s hoping they make HUGE strides and vanquish these nasty buggers. Thanks for sharing the post 🙂

  6. Mandi says:

    How interesting! That is a lot of money, I hope we can find better treatments and more solutions soon!

  7. I saw the “teaser” of the announcement and I could NOT wait to hear what they had up their sleeve but I KNEW it would be good. It’s great! Timing this close to the 50th anniversary of JFK’s moon speech… brilliant. The minds at MD Anderson are brilliant. I have every confidence they will succeed. I need more of THIS and less of the other “stuff” ……


  8. pinkheart says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this very hopeful news! I’m forwarding this to my daughter who plans on majoring in biochemistry in college to go into R&D for cancer.

  9. Wonderful news, Nancy. I’m so glad this center is tackling these more deadly forms of cancer. I do hope the money is well spent looking into molecular causes and targets for therapy. And happy birthday to Piggie!! xox

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