Effective July 11, 2019, the Biden Cancer Initiative Suspends Operations. Read More »

September 21, 2018


On September 21, 2018, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden convened a national Biden Cancer Summit, with the anchor event in Washington D.C., and more than 450 Community Summits held where people live, work, learn, and worship around the country. The effort brought together thousands of people to focus national attention on the urgency of now to create actionable solutions in the fight against cancer.

Summit Sessions

8:50–09:0 a.m. ET
Vice President Joe Biden
Opening remarks from Vice President Joe Biden

9:00–9:55 a.m. ET
Spotlight Talks: The Cancer Journey 
In a series of talks grounded in the realities of the cancer journey, speakers will bring to life stories of strength, resilience, and tenacity told through the prism of a broad range of cancer experiences.

Keynote Speaker Dr. Jill Biden

9:55–10:40 a.m. ET
From Fear to Fierce
A discussion among people going through their respective unique cancer journeys, connected by the strength of their resolve to turn cancer fears into cancer fierce.

  • Stephanie McMahon, Connor’s Cure and WWE
  • Bryce Olson, FACTS – Fighting Advanced Cancer Through Songs
  • Richard Pazdur, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Devon Still, Still Strong Foundation
  • Moderator: Laurie McGinley, Washington Post

10:40-11:00 a.m.
Commitments to Doubling the Rate of Progress

11:00-11:20 a.m.           
Urgency of Now Conversation with Tom Coughlin, Jay Fund and Jacksonville Jaguars
This conversation focuses on Tom Coughlin’s work in providing support and financial assistance for families during one the most trying times of their lives, spotlighting what is so badly needed beyond the science and medical advancements.

12:50–1:45 p.m.
State of Innovation in Cancer Care and Research Watch the Luncheon Panel Here

Innovation is a theme that is weaved throughout the Summit program and the work of the Biden Cancer Initiative. This panel provides a pulse on the current state of innovation – what some of the most transformative ideas are, where these are coming from, who’s driving greater adoption, and how do we double the rate of progress.

  • Laura Esserman, University of California San Francisco
  • Bibhash Mukhopadhyay, New Enterprise Associates
  • Feng Zhang, Broad Institute
  • Sy Mukherjee, Fortune (Moderator)

3:15-3:35 p.m.
Panel: Shared Economy, Shared Solutions

  • Kristen Berlacher, Airbnb
  • Dave McLaughlin, WeWork
  • Gyre Renwick, Lyft
  • Matthew Herper, Forbes (Moderator)

3:35 – 3:55 p.m.
Commitments to Doubling the Rate of Progress

3:55-4:15 p.m.   
Urgency of Now Conversation

This conversation between two leaders at different junctures of their professional paths will explore how to turn the best science and the most innovative approaches matter most when they turn into meaningful outcomes for patients.

  • Freda Lewis-Hall, Pfizer
  • Kavya Kopparapu, Harvard University/Thomas Jefferson High School

4:15-4:30 p.m.     
Turning Ideas into Action

Summing up the highlights from working sessions throughout the day, we will focus on ideas ready to be acted upon, collaborations needed to happen, and opportunities within our reach to accelerate progress against cancer.

  • Greg Simon, Biden Cancer Initiative

4:30–5:00 pm
Keynote: Ending Cancer as We Know It
Vice President Joe Biden

Cancer Town Hall
Hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, and featuring world-class experts in cancer prevention, treatment, care, and survivorship answering questions from a broad-based audience.

Session 1:  Prevention, early detection, diagnosis

  • Carol Brown, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Regina Benjamin, 18th Surgeon General of the United States
  • Elmer Huerta, Washington Hospital Center Preventorium
  • Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, Deputy Surgeon General of the United States

Session 2: Research and Innovation

  • David Agus, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
  • Elizabeth Jaffee, Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Sam Blackman, Silverback Therapeutics
  • Julie Grant, Canaan Partners

Session 3: Care and Survivorship

  • Stefanie Joho, Cancer Survivor
  • Todd Park, Devoted Health
  • Shawna Butler, Singularity University
  • Richard Schilsky, American Society of Clinical Oncology


Shared Studios Portals


Devon Still on His Daughter’s Cancer Journey and Its Impact on Family

The Longo Family on living with cancer’s financial toxicity

Tuba City Oncologists on Meeting Navajo Nation’s Cancer Needs

Biden Cancer Community Summits

More than 450 communities brought together people from all walks of life to have a conversation about the cancer journey.

The discussions were real, raw, and relevant. They resonated in places where we live, work, learn, and play and were grounded on wide-ranging experiences.

What emerged was a  shared narrative focused on urgency and action, tying us all together, fierce in our commitment to improve the cancer experience for all.

Community Toolkit

*represents approximate summit locations


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Together, we can challenge the system with transformative solutions needed to end cancer as we know it.  Together, we can make hope real.