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Biden's Personal Fight Against Cancer

The vice president leads a $1 billion "moon-shot" effort to end the disease that killed his son

In His Words with Joe Biden

Martin Schoeller/AUGUST

Biden seeks to double the rate of progress in the understanding and treatment of cancer.

What motivates you?

En español | This is personal for me. Cancer is probably the most frightening word anyone can hear walking out of a doctor's office, and my family has experienced the dreaded C-word. But this is personal for just about every American, and millions around the world.

Describe your role.

I'm in a unique position of not only being able to marshal the incredible resources of the federal government, but also to bring together the physicians, researchers, institutions and philanthropists who are doing great work on research and treatment. We're doing two things: increasing resources, both private and public, and breaking down silos to bring all the cancer fighters together to share information.

Why this initiative?

Research and therapies are on the cusp of incredible breakthroughs. The goal of this "moon-shot" effort is to seize the moment — in short, double the rate of progress in the understanding and treatment of cancer, make a decade worth of advances in 5 years. I've heard from thousands of people who have been affected by this disease, and I'm going to do everything I can to help.