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 for establishing a translational science network devoted exclusively to discovering and evaluating novel immune-based approaches to treat and prevent adult cancers. Implementation of the IOTN will address this BRP scientific priority. The goal of the IOTN is to foster collaborative team science approaches to accelerate the discovery of new immune targets and evaluate novel immune-based therapies and combination approaches that eliminate established cancers in adults or to prevent cancers before they occur. 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.