Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Making progress against cancer relies on effective communications. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is committed to public accountability and transparency, disseminating the findings of cancer research and evidence-based cancer information to all audiences who will benefit, including patients, caregivers, health professionals, researchers, and the news media, both in the United States and abroad.
The NCI Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) leads strategic communications for the Institute, supporting timely and accurate dissemination of research results and engaging NCI’s partners across the United States and the world. Serving those affected by cancer—including healthy individuals who may benefit from prevention and early detection strategies and patients, caregivers, and cancer survivors—is a priority for NCI.
OCPL recognizes that the communications landscape is rapidly changing, and new strategies are critical to disseminate the latest cancer research findings, including those from NCI-supported research, to reach diverse audiences in need. OCPL oversees the development and promotion of widely used comprehensive evidence-based summaries for health professionals to aid in their care for patients.
In addition to leading NCI’s enterprise communications and supporting its leaders, OCPL employs state-of-the-art communications to the benefit of NCI’s research divisions, offices, and centers and leads communications strategy for major initiatives such as the Cancer Moonshot and the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative. OCPL also develops and implements enterprise-level campaigns, such as the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act, to build awareness and understanding of NCI’s role in leading the National Cancer Program.
OCPL manages several NCI services that serve patients, researchers, and others. These include the Cancer Information Service (CIS) and several social media channels.
NCI’s public engagement programs and services include
- The Cancer Information Service
NCI's contact center, the CIS answers questions about cancer, NCI programs, smoking cessation services, and supports access and recruitment to clinical trials, providing assistance via phone, live chat, and email. Facilitated by an experienced team of English and Spanish-speaking information specialists, the CIS helps advance NCI’s mission and provides personalized, confidential answers about cancer to more than 100,000 patients, their families, the public, and health professionals each year.
- Media Relations
The NCI Media Relations Branch works daily with top journalists from around the world, as well as NCI scientists and experts, to ensure that the latest research findings and initiatives are accurately reported to the public in a timely way.
- External Relations
OCPL engages professional societies, academic institutions, cancer researchers, thought leaders, and practitioners to understand a wide variety of perspectives on emerging issues. OCPL identifies opportunities to collaborate and partner with these organizations around shared goals.
NCI's enterprise website, also available in Spanish, is one of the world’s most visited resources for cancer research, acting as the Institute’s hub of credible, evidence-based cancer information. Produced by a team of digital strategists, writers, and subject matter and plain language experts, cancer.gov content is widely available for use by other organizations via its content syndication services.
Some examples of products available on cancer.gov include
- patient education publications
- fact sheets
- PDQ (Physician Data Query), a collection of cancer information summaries for health professionals and patients
- drug information summaries
- dictionaries of cancer, genetics, and drug terms
- the Cancer Currents blog
- Visuals Online, a repository of medical illustrations, infographics, and other images
If you have a question about the office or NCI’s communications efforts, please contact us.