The Obama Administration's Cancer Moonshot: A Call for Proteomics

Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Sep 15;22(18):4556-8. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-16-0688. Epub 2016 May 19.


The Cancer Moonshot Program has been launched and represents a potentially paradigm-shifting initiative with the goal to implement a focused national effort to double the rate of progress against cancer. The placement of precision medicine, immunotherapy, genomics, and combination therapies was placed at the central nexus of this initiative. Although we are extremely enthusiastic about the goals of the program, it is time we meet this revolutionary project with equally bold and cutting-edge ideas: it is time we move firmly into the postgenome era and provide the necessary resources to propel and seize on innovative recent gains in the field of proteomics required for it to stand on equal footing in this narrative as a combined, synergistic engine for molecular profiling. After all, although the genome is the information archive, it is the proteins that actually do the work of the cell and represent the structural cellular machinery. It is the proteins that comprise most of the biomarkers that are measured to detect cancers, constitute the antigens that drive immune response and inter- and intracellular communications, and it is the proteins that are the drug targets for nearly every targeted therapy that is being evaluated in cancer trials today. We believe that a combined systems biology view of the tumor microenvironment that orients cancer studies back to the functional proteome, phosphoproteome, and biochemistry of the cell will be essential to deliver on the promise of the Cancer Moonshot Program. Clin Cancer Res; 22(18); 4556-8. ©2016 AACR.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Genomics / methods
  • Humans
  • National Health Programs*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Proteomics* / methods
  • Research* / trends