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Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 in Boston, about the White House's cancer "moonshot" initiative — a push to throw everything at finding a cure within five years. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Biden said he would have liked to be the US president who ended cancer as we know it


Former Vice President Joe Biden brought his Cancer Moonshot initiative to Austin, Texas Sunday where he spoke at the South By Southwest festival. 

"I would have loved to be the president the presided over the end of cancer as we know it," Biden said in his speech. Biden, whose son Beau died from brain cancer in 2015, delivered an emotional speech about continuing the initiative aimed at speeding up cancer research.

WATCH  | Biden said he would have liked to be the US president who ended cancer as we know it

"Your generation can be the first generation on Earth that goes through life with a completely different understanding of cancer as preventable -- a controllable disease, rather than a death sentence," Biden said Sunday afternoon. 

Biden emphasized the importance of improving data standards to help researchers, working with community care organizations to improve access to care and making sure patients can afford treatments.

The former vice president didn't mention President Trump by name but did say he is willing to work with the current administration to fight a disease that kills an estimated 600,000 Americans each year, the Huffington Post reports.

"I’m confident we can get through it. I'm confident we can get it done. And I'm confident that the new administration, once it gets organized, and I'm not being facetious, it will be as enthusiastic of ending cancer as know it. I promise to do everything in my power to work with the new organization to end cancer," he said.

Biden added that cancer research hasn't changed significantly since President Nixon launched his War on Cancer in 1971. He added that a lot of times medical information "lives and dies where it's created." 

"If we change that, we'll change cancer," he added. 

Joe and Jill Biden launched the Biden Foundation in February. It focuses on cancer research and issues like violence against women. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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