How was the NCI Strategic Plan developed?
The community's feedback was essential. Their ideas came from a number of priority-setting efforts, including Progress Review Groups, think tanks in cancer biology, NCI Listens and Learns, and review of the Nation's Investment in Cancer Research.
Why is the strategic plan necessary?
The success of the plan will depend on several things. For example, we must integrate all of our research efforts. What we learn in the clinic not only must be translated into new or better treatments, but must also inform the next generation of discovery and development. We also must leverage our resources. We must forge more partnerships, establish more collaborations, and look for synergies in public and private research efforts.
How will the strategic plan affect how NCI operates?
It's already had an impact. The process of developing the strategic plan influenced the creation of an "enterprise fund" of dollars redeployed from the divisions' budgets. That fund will be used to support research projects that cut across all divisions and centers. It also led to the development of the Integration Implementation, or I2, teams, of which there are three so far: advanced imaging, bioinformatics, and lung cancer.
A final point to emphasize is that the strategic plan is a guide. We understand that circumstances change: Opportunities present themselves, research provides new insights that alter how we think about things like diagnosis or treatment. We are committed to being flexible, to taking advantage of opportunities, and to working with the entire cancer research community to achieve 2015.