V.P. Biden to Spearhead Cancer Cure Effort

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SCRANTON -- President Obama gave his final State of the Union address Tuesday night and said he wants the U.S. to cure cancer.

He's putting a man with ties to Scranton in charge of that mission.

Vice President Joe Biden lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer last year.

Now President Obama is putting Biden in charge of the national effort to not just treat cancer, but to cure it altogether.

The president covered a lot of ground in his State of the Union address; terrorism, politics, even cancer which is a leading cause of death around the world.

"The goal of curing cancer or eliminating cancer is a laudable one. That’s going to be very difficult to do. We've got to understand cancer is not just one disease," said Dr. Samuel Lesko of the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.

As the institute's medical director, Dr. Lesko believes curing such a complex illness won't happen overnight.

"I hope it’s not going to take too many generations, but I don’t think we should be naive and think we’re going to be able to cure all cancers in next 5 years, or 10 years."

Countless families across the country and even here in northeastern and central Pennsylvania and are affected by cancer. Now the president has tapped Scranton’s native son, Joe Biden, to spearhead the effort to cure cancer once and for all.

"Having the president’s voice behind that sort of goal is very important," said Alicia Burns of Shavertown. "If Joe Biden is up for it, I hope he has support to move forward with research."

Biden lost his son, Beau, to cancer last year and according to the president he's helped scientists get more help from congress in the fight against cancer. Now the vice president is being put in charge of a national effort to find a cure.

"I’m behind Joe Biden if they can help and he can find a way, they can help cure cancer, why not? Let’s do it, worse ways to spend our money that’s for sure," said Thomas Swartwood of Dallas.

Regardless of how close we are to a cure, some believe it's not as far off as it once was.

"With technology and science advancing the way it is, I believe we’re possibly going to get there," added Burns.

Biden said he plans to increase the amount of private and public money spent on fighting cancer and bring everyone together to work on ending cancer as we know it.

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