Cancer Moonshot Initiative Adds Precision Surgery Effort

01 August 2023 Personalized Medicine Bulletin Blog
Author(s): Antoinette F. Konski

The White House recently announced the Precision Surgery Initiative (PSI) as a “first-of-its kind Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) program to develop novel technologies” to more precisely excise cancerous growths to improve outcomes for cancer patients. July 27, 2023 White House Press Release (Release). PSI will add to the Cancer Moonshot’s arsenal of tools to reach the goals set by President Biden and the First Lady: “cutting the cancer death rate in half – preventing more than 4 million cancer deaths by 2047”. Id.

ARPA-H is a research funding agency created to support transformative biomedical and health breakthroughs to provide health solutions for all Americans. A goal of the program is to make “big bets” that have high-payoff capabilities, that is, those programs that are transformative, not incremental in scope. The first program, Novel Innovations for Tissue Regeneration in Osteoarthritis (NITRO), aims to develop therapies to treat joint disease. NITRO focuses on three technical areas: injectable bone regeneratives, injectable cartilage regeneratives, and replacement joints built from human cells.

The PSI will solicit proposals for “methods and techniques to improve visibility of cancer and other critical anatomical structures during surgery.” Release. ARPA-H will solicit proposals through a Broad Agency Announcement and multiple awards are anticipated. Interested researchers are encouraged to attend a Proposers Day scheduled for September 7, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.

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