Biden Cancer Initiative a ‘personal’ campaign for the former vice president, his wife

Joe and Jill Biden launched a new campaign aimed at improving the way America battles cancer.

The former vice president and his wife announced the Biden Cancer Initiative Monday at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in Kips Bay. Biden, who lost his son Beau to brain cancer two years ago, said the initiative’s team will combine public, private and academic resources to combat the disease.

“We’re going to devote our lives to it,” he said during a Facebook Live video Monday.

The Washington D.C.-based initiative builds on the White House’s 2016 “Cancer Moonshot” program, which set a goal to achieve 10-years-worth of research development in five.

The Bidens said they plan to take a multi-faceted approach, emphasizing data collection and sharing.

Joe Biden said various scientists and doctors have independently made strides in research for different cancers, but no one has truly analyzed their combined efforts yet.

“By using the supercomputing power we now have at the U.S. Department of Energy, of a million billion calculations per second, we may uncover why one therapy or treatment works for one person and not another,” he wrote in a June 26 op-ed for Time Magazine.

The Bidens will be joined in their efforts by a who’s-who of medical and celebrity experts. Greg Simon, who chaired the Moonshot Task Force and formerly served as Vice President Al Gore’s chief domestic policy adviser, will serve as the initiative’s president.

Other board members include Carol L. Brown, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s director for the office of diversity programs in clinical care, research, and training; Erin Andrews, a Fox Sports reporter who battled cervical cancer; and Todd Park, the former U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

“For us, this is personal,” Jill Biden said during the Facebook Live. “I think the Biden Cancer center creates a sense of urgency.”