More than four decades ago, former president Richard Nixon declared a "War On Cancer." Just last month, President Obama launched the latest salvo in the conflict by appointing Vice President Joe Biden launch a "moonshot" in the fight to find a cure for the deadly disease.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, Biden—who last year lost his son Beau to brain cancer—met with global cancer experts. One of them was Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who told CNBC's "On the Money" that the public was nearing an "inflection point" in the war on the dreaded disease.
In an interview, Collins acknowledged that people may be "a little cynical" because it's been 45 years since officials declared the "war on cancer." In the interim, the world has lost countless numbers to the disease.
Despite the setbacks, however, "we've got its number. We understand what's going on inside the cancer cell."
The NIH official, who has led the agency since 2009, said that cancer was "not one disease. It's hundreds of diseases…and we're going to make progress on those at different paces."