Understanding the Mechanisms of Cancer

Cancer is a complex disease that requires an in-depth understanding of how genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors contribute to its development. Discoveries in basic scientific research about the growth, survival, and spread (metastasis) of cancer cells in the body have been, and continue to be, essential for continued progress. Part of NCI’s mission is to support the basic scientific research that will lead to new ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer, thereby enabling people to live longer, healthier lives. Two areas of research opportunity are understanding and therapeutically targeting the molecular drivers of cancer and understanding and finding ways to control cancer metastasis.