The Biden administration on Thursday announced a new cancer research initiative as part of its Advanced Health Research Agency.
The Precision Surgical Interventions program aims to make it easier for doctors to distinguish between cancerous and healthy cells during surgery. This will make surgeries faster and make it easier for patients to recover.
"What’s true is that many cancer treatments still start with surgery," said Arati Prabhakar, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, in an interview with The Associated Press. "So being really smart and attacking and developing new technology to make that first step better could really revolutionize how we are able to treat cancer for so many Americans."
The program will fit under the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA-H. That organization is modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which helped incubate pivotal technologies like the internet and GPS. The administration hopes to bring the same research and prototyping process — and the same potential for breakthrough science — to the health space.
ARPA-H is calling for more research goals, to expand the work it does reducing cancer mortality.
One of President Biden and ARPA-H's stated goals is to reduce deaths from cancer in the U.S. by half.
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