(Houston Chronicle) The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center on Friday will announce an ambitious initiative to dramatically reduce the death rates of eight common and difficult cancers.

The $3 billion effort, dubbed the Moon Shots Program, will bring together large teams of researchers and clinicians to mount attacks in the next decade on cancers that annually account for nearly 750,000 cases and more than 260,000 deaths. Those figures represent nearly half of the nation’s totals in both categories.

“The Moon Shots Program signals our confidence that the path to curing cancer is in clearer sight than at any previous time in history,” M.D. Anderson President Dr. Ronald DePinho said in a statement. “Thanks to what we’ve learned over the past decade, we now have many of the tools we need.”

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