CBSN

Obama establishes cancer moonshot task force

President Obama signed a presidential memorandum Thursday to establish a new federal task force to accelerate cancer research.

"It is of critical national importance that we accelerate progress towards prevention, treatment, and a cure -- to double the rate of progress in the fight against cancer," the memo reads, "and put ourselves on a path to achieve in just 5 years research and treatment gains that otherwise might take a decade or more."

Mr. Obama named Vice President Joe Biden to chair the effort, called the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force.

Several federal agencies are involved in the effort, including the Pentagon, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. The group will submit a report to the president at the end of December - just before he leaves office.

Biden announced last year, when he said he wouldn't run for president, that he would spend his final months in office working to cure cancer. His son Beau Biden died of brain cancer last year.

He recently travelled to Davos for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and met with cancer researchers from top institutions across the globe about goals for cancer research.