HOUSTON (KTRK) --Vice President Joe Biden was in Houston Friday to talk about the White House Cancer Moonshot alongside his wife Dr. Jill Biden, former Secretary of State James Baker, Rice University President David Leebron, MD Anderson President Dr. Ronald DePinho and Baker Institute Director Ambassador Edward Djerejian.
The "Moonshot" is a reference President John F. Kennedy's 1962 speech at Rice, which challenged the United States to put a man on the moon by the end of that decade. NASA successfully landed Apollo 11 on the moon in July 1969.
"There was a goal set that people didn't think was possible that America set its mind to accomplish and that's exactly where we are here," Biden said.
President Barack Obama announced the new initiative to accelerate cancer research in his 2016 State of the Union address.
Biden is leading the effort, which aims to" make more therapies available to more patients, while also improving the ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage".
The Vice President's son, Beau, died from cancer at age 46 in May 2015. He was a patient at M.D. Anderson in the Texas Medical Center in 2013.