NCI convened the Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) in 2016 to provide recommendations for achieving the Cancer Moonshot's ambitious goal of making a decade's worth of progress in cancer research in 5 years, now called the Cancer MoonshotSM Initiative. The BRP was charged with assessing the state of the science in specific areas and identifying major research opportunities that could uniquely benefit from the support of the Cancer Moonshot and could lead to significant advances in our understanding of cancer and in how to intervene in its initiation and progression. The recommendations focused on areas in which a coordinated effort could profoundly accelerate the pace of progress in the fight against cancer and were not intended to replace existing cancer programs, initiatives, and policies already underway.
The BRP final report was approved by the National Cancer Advisory Board and included a recommendation of developing ways to overcome cancer’s resistance to therapy. Implementation of the DRSN will address this BRP scientific priority. The goal of the DRSN is to identify therapeutic targets to overcome drug resistance through studies that determine the mechanisms that lead cancer cells to become resistant to previously effective treatments. The 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law in December 2016 dedicating new funds to support efforts associated with the Cancer MoonshotSM Initiative, including support for this network.