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National Cancer Institute

Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot

Reimagining cancer clinical trials increasing awareness and access for patients.

About NIH

Accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive cancer information from the U.S. government's principal agency for cancer research

The challenge

Reimagining cancer clinical trials increasing awareness and access for patients.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows partnered with the National Cancer Institute, as part of the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative, to help redesign how people think about, find, and participate in cancer clinical research. We need more people to participate in clinical research, now more than ever, so we can accelerate the pace of cancer treatments.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows interviewed hundreds of patients, their loved ones, and clinicians from all areas of the country serving patients with cancer. The human centered design discovery sprint uncovered insights and an emotional understanding of what people go through when they have cancer.

The Fellows launched an application programming interface (API) to interact with the cancer clinical data hosted on This API ( is freely available for advocacy groups, academia and others in the cancer ecosystem to access directly. Now, when startups like Smart Patients, Syapse, Cure Forward, and Anecdote build a product that is centered around, or could be augmented by clinical trial data - they have a convenient platform to use. As a result, we expect to see many more applications, integrations, search tools, and digital platforms tailored to individual communities that bring clinical trial information to more providers, patients, and their family members.

People can now search for clinical trials using this new API at the National Cancer Institute’s search: The ultimate goal is to make it as easy (or close to) as booking a flight. We have elevated helpful services from NCI like Live Chat and a bilingual call service so patients and their loved ones can get the support they need during this challenging and scary time.</p>

The Presidential Innovation Fellows continue to build upon the momentum from our efforts from the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, helping to accelerate innovation in the agencies we collaborate with to improve the experience for all citizens across the broad domain of research, care, and access.