Leadership and Expert Views - Cancer Currents Blog
Commentaries from scientific leaders at NCI and other institutions about cancer research topics, programs, and initiatives.
- The Childhood Cancer Data Initiative: Why Data Sharing Is Essential to Progress
NCI is laying the groundwork to develop the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative (CCDI). NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy, M.D., explains why an initiative with a focus on data sharing is essential to accelerating progress against childhood cancer.
- Prostate Cancer Prevention and Finasteride: A Conversation with NCI’s Dr. Howard Parnes
The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial showed that finasteride can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, but might increase the risk of aggressive disease. NCI’s Howard Parnes talks about subsequent findings and what they mean for men aged 55 and older.
- Making Cancer Clinical Trials Available to More Patients
NCI is expanding eligibility criteria for its cancer clinical trials in the hope that more patients will join, leading to more rapid advances. The goal is to maximize the number of patients who are eligible to enroll while maintaining their safety.
- Partnering with Small Business to Advance Innovation in Cancer Research and Care
NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless describes how NCI’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs act as “engines of innovation” and shares recommendations from a federal working group for strengthening the programs.
- The HPV Vaccine: Increasing the Use of an Important Cancer Prevention Tool
Dr. Barbara Rimer, chair of the President’s Cancer Panel, summarizes the panel’s recent report on the HPV vaccine, which includes priorities and strategies to ensure that more people receive this critical cancer vaccine.
- The Cancer Moonshot: Moving from Planning to Research
Dr. Dinah Singer, co-chair of the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, provides an update to the cancer community on the science being supported under the Moonshot initiative.
- NCI-MATCH Update: More Labs, New Arms, and Initial Findings
NCI’s Dr. Lyndsay Harris provides an update on the NCI-MATCH trial, including the opening of new trial treatment arms and the addition of new laboratories to perform testing on tumor samples of prospective trial participants.
- Reflections on My First Year as NCI Director
October 2018 marked Dr. Norman Sharpless’s one-year anniversary as NCI director. He reflects on noteworthy events from the past 12 months and his excitement about leading NCI at such a critical juncture in the history of cancer research.
- Studying “Total Diet” and Its Impact on Health, Including Cancer Risk
Researchers are shifting how they assess diet and cancer risk, looking beyond the impact of individual foods or nutrients on health, and taking a more holistic approach, considering dietary patterns across the lifespan.
- The R50 Research Specialist Award: Ensuring a Stable Cancer Research Workforce
With the increasing reliance on advanced technologies and the rise of big data in cancer research, NCI launched the R50 Research Specialist Award to help sustain a stable workforce of experienced scientists who can take fullest advantage of these tools and resources.
- Hope and Challenge: The NCI Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2020
NCI has released its Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Plan and Budget Proposal. The plan represents NCI’s best professional judgement on the optimum funding needed to make the most rapid progress against cancer.
- NCI and FDA Address Common Concerns: A Win–Win for Making Progress against Cancer
NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless discusses efforts between NCI and FDA to advance progress against cancer, including initiatives to improve labeling of patient tumor and tissue samples and to address challenges presented by new tobacco products.
- Integrating Geriatric Assessment into Cancer Care: A Conversation with Dr. Supriya Mohile
Dr. Supriya Mohile discusses the unique issues experienced by older adults with cancer and efforts to incorporate geriatric assessment into patient care, including the publication of recent ASCO clinical guidelines on geriatric cancer care.
- Enhancements to NCI’s SEER Program Creating New Research Opportunities
NCI’s SEER program is expanding in size and operating a series of innovative pilot studies. As Dr. Lynne Penberthy explains, these studies are setting the stage for the routine collection of more clinical and genomic data that will help researchers better understand cancer and its impact.
- Developing Biomarkers for Immunotherapy: A Conversation with Drs. Magdalena Thurin and Helen Chen
NCI is supporting a new research network to develop biomarkers for cancer immunotherapy. In this interview, NCI’s Dr. Helen Chen and Magdalena Thurin explain the networks’ structure and its goals.
- The Opioid Epidemic and Cancer Pain Management: A Conversation with Dr. Judith Paice
Dr. Judith Paice, of the Cancer Pain Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, discusses the impacts of the opioid epidemic on cancer patients and how providers can address concerns about opioid misuse when managing cancer pain.
- NExT: Advancing Promising Cancer Therapies from the Lab to Clinical Trials
The NCI Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) program works with researchers and top scientific experts to advance promising or novel cancer therapies from the earliest stages of research to human clinical trials.
- Maximizing the Prospects for Progress Against Cancer
NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless highlights some of the important research findings from the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting and discusses the rapid pace of progress in cancer research.
- Cancer Control in American Indian and Alaska Native Populations: A Conversation with Dr. Shobha Srinivasan
American Indian and Alaska Native populations are disproportionately affected by certain cancers. In this interview, Dr. Shobha Srinivasan discusses some of these disparities and programs funded by NCI that are helping to address them.
- NCI Expands Repository of Cancer Research Models: A Conversation with Drs. Doroshow and Evrard
NCI is expanding its Patient-Derived Models Repository (PDMR), which provides cancer research models made directly from human tumor tissue. In this Q&A, Drs. Yvonne Evrard and James Doroshow explain how the new models can help cancer researchers make more rapid progress.
- Forging Military Partnerships to Empower the Cancer Research Enterprise
Partnerships and collaborations are an important component of NCI’s success. NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless describes three efforts made possible by a memorandum of agreement with three US military institutions: the APOLLO network, NAVIGATE, and BD-STEP.
- The Imperative of Addressing Cancer Drug Costs and Value
The President’s Cancer Panel has released its latest report, Promoting Value, Affordability, and Innovation in Cancer Drug Treatment. The report recommends six actions to maximize the value and affordability of cancer drug treatment.
- Retooling NCI MERIT Awards to Support Budding Cancer Researchers
NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless discusses how NCI is retooling a grant mechanism, called the MERIT R37 Award, to help early-stage investigators by extending the length of time they can receive funding under their first independent NIH grant.
- The Challenging Landscape of Cancer and Aging: Charting a Way Forward
NCI Director Dr. Norman Sharpless discusses research on aging and cancer, including understanding the biology of aging and its relationship to cancer, the treatment of older patients, and ensuring older patients participate in cancer clinical trials.
- Expanding Cancer Clinical Trial Access for Patients with HIV
People with HIV are often excluded from clinical trials to protect their safety. Preliminary results from an NCI-sponsored study of an immunotherapy drug show that people with HIV can safely participate in clinical trials.
- Expanding Smoking Cessation Services at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers: An Interview with Dr. Glen Morgan
NCI’s Dr. Glen Morgan discusses NCI’s Cancer Center Cessation Initiative, including how and why this smoking cessation initiative was developed and its long-term goals.
- Assuming the Role of NCI Director: Working to Accelerate Progress
Norman Sharpless, M.D., discusses his appointment as the director of the National Cancer Institute and his plans for continuing NCI’s long tradition of research excellence and commitment to improving people’s lives.
- Kids First Pediatric Research Program Moves Forward
Progress continues to be made with the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Program, which is creating opportunities for investigators from different research communities to share resources and collaborate on research into childhood cancers and certain birth defects.
- Overcoming the Challenges of Metastatic Cancer: An Interview with Dr. Rosandra Kaplan
NCI’s Dr. Rosandra Kaplan discusses important trends in metastatic cancer research and new ideas for treating and preventing metastatic cancer.
- Bringing the Investigational Breast Cancer Drug Endoxifen from Bench to Bedside with NCI Support
Researchers recognized the potential of endoxifen as a treatment for breast cancer and, with NCI support, developed the compound into a drug now being tested in clinical trials.
- NCI Program Supports Small Businesses to Advance Cancer Research Innovation – A Q&A with Michael Weingarten
NCI’s Small Business Innovation Research Program recently issued contract solicitations to spur the development of new cancer-related therapies and technologies, including seven opportunities specific to the Cancer Moonshot.
- “First in Human” Documentary Highlights NCI Immunotherapy Research
The Discovery Channel special, First in Human, will feature some of the groundbreaking work on cancer immunotherapy being done at the NIH Clinical Center, including CAR T-cell therapy and TIL therapy.
- Glioblastoma—Unraveling the Threads: A Q&A with Drs. Mark Gilbert and Terri Armstrong of the NIH Neuro-Oncology Branch
Progress against the brain cancer glioblastoma has been slow. Drs. Mark Gilbert and Terri Armstrong of NCI’s Neuro-Oncology Branch discuss why and what’s being done to change that.
- NCI’s Technology Transfer Center—Moving Inventions and Ideas from the Lab to Patients: An Interview with Dr. Michael Salgaller
An interview with Dr. Michael Salgaller about how NCI’s Technology Transfer Center helps to move new technologies developed by NCI and NIH scientists from the lab to the bedside.
- NCI's CURE Program—21 Years of Increasing Diversity in the Biomedical Workforce
NCI’s CURE program recently celebrated its 21st anniversary of providing training and other support to improve the diversity of people involved in cancer research and care.
- Improving Cancer Control in Rural Communities: Next Steps
Studies continue to show disparities in cancer outcomes for people who live in rural parts of the United States. NCI’s Dr. Robert Croyle explains how the institute is working with multiple partners to better understand and address these disparities.
- Introducing DAVE: Online Analysis Tools for the Genomic Data Commons
NCI has released an online, open-access cancer research resource for the Genomic Data Commons called the Data Analysis, Visualization, and Exploration Tools, or DAVE.
- NCI ALMANAC: A New Tool for Research on Cancer Drug Combinations
NCI has released a new, easy-to-use resource called the NCI ALMANAC to help researchers identify potentially promising combinations of cancer drugs.
- Making Greater Progress Against Cancer—Not Just a Hope but a Reality
Acting NCI Director Dr. Doug Lowy discusses what he calls encouraging news in the most recent Annual Report to the Nation and how NCI is helping to achieve further progress against cancer.
- Advancing the Potential and Promise of Total-Body PET Imaging
A total-body PET scanner under development is an ideal example of how NCI and NIH are supporting the development of new research and cancer care-related technologies.
- Colorectal Cancer Incidence Rising in Young Adults: An Interview with Drs. Philip Rosenberg and William Anderson
Drs. Philip Rosenberg and William Anderson of NCI discuss a recent study on which they were coauthors that reported an increase in colorectal cancer incidence among adults under age 50 in the United States.
- Putting the Cancer Patient Front and Center: An Interview with NCI’s Dr. Paul Jacobsen
NCI’s Dr. Paul Jacobsen discusses NCI’s Healthcare Delivery Research Program and its role in advancing innovative research to improve the delivery of cancer care.
- Conditional Reprogramming: An Interview with Dr. Richard Schlegel on Growing Cancer Cells
Dr. Richard Schlegel describes an innovative cell culture technique he helped to develop. Called conditional reprogramming, the technique can be used to rapidly establish cell cultures of normal and tumor cells from patient samples.
- Cancer Moonshot Moves Forward, Bringing Funding Opportunities for Researchers
NCI has issued a series of funding opportunity announcements aligned with goals of the recommendations in the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot℠ Blue Ribbon Panel report released last fall.
- NCTN/NCORP Data Archive: Expanding Access to Clinical Trial Data
NCI is launching the NCTN/NCORP Data Archive, a centralized repository of patient-level data from phase III clinical trials conducted by NCI’s NCTN and NCORP trials programs and the National Cancer Institute of Canada-Clinical Trials Group.