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NCI Welcomes Renewed Commitments to the Cancer Moonshot with Japan and the Republic of Korea

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health is pleased to announce the renewal of three separate collaborations with Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), affirming the two countries’ commitment to international cancer research and care, expanding efforts in the emerging area of proteogenomics, and the goals of the reignited Cancer Moonshot.

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden reignited the Cancer Moonshot in February 2022 with new goals: reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years, and improve the experience of patients and families living with and surviving cancer. This includes supporting innovation to develop new ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer as well as ensuring we reach more people with the tools we have to end cancer as we know it today.

The United States considers Japan and the ROK important partners in achieving the goals of the reinvigorated Cancer Moonshot. NCI continues to support efforts that accelerate research and screening that will improve outcomes for people with cancer, and that make life sciences data available to the public.

NCI Renewed Collaboration with the National Cancer Center of Japan (NCC-J)

Japan has been an important partner in international cancer research as part of the Cancer Moonshot since 2017. NCC-J’s renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding to the NCI Cancer Moonshot International Cancer Proteogenome Consortium (ICPC), helps accelerate our understanding of how proteins and genes (proteogenomics) contribute to an individual’s cancer and better informs patient care.

NCC-J’s work under NCI’s ICPC has focused on sarcoma, a rare cancer with generally poor survival rates, to find relationships between genes, proteins, and drug response to aid in the development of therapies for this deadly cancer.

To date, the NCC-J has leveraged funding from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development to characterize sarcomas in patients and has developed preclinical cancer models to aid in the discovery of effective sarcoma treatments.

NCI Renewed Collaboration with Korea University and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology

The Republic of Korea has been an important NCI partner in global research supporting the Cancer Moonshot since 2016. The ROK’s commitment to this effort is reaffirmed through the renewal of two Memoranda of Understanding involving Korea University and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. In addition, other ROK research teams that are part of the ICPC are the National Cancer Center Korea, and Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology along with Kyung Hee University.

The ROK’s research has focused on eight different cancer types and has contributed to an improved understanding of proteogenomics related to gastric cancer, a cancer that is markedly elevated in the ROK. The resulting data has been made available to the global cancer research community.

To date, the ROK research teams have leveraged funding from the Ministry of Health and Welfare (National Cancer Center of Korea, NCC), the Ministry of Science and ICT (the National Research Foundation of Korea, NRF), and the Ministry of Education (National Research Facilities & Equipment Center, NFEC), to study commonly diagnosed cancers in the ROK for better patient treatment decisions.

About ICPC

The NCI Cancer Moonshot ICPC was launched in 2016 and represents a voluntary scientific organization that provides a forum for collaboration among some of the world's leading cancer research centers. ICPC currently includes research institutions from 14 countries. Data findings from ICPC members are made available to cancer researchers and physicians globally to help further their understanding of cancer and to better inform patient care. Cancer knows no borders.