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NCI Is Driving Discovery in Cancer Research

NCI enables advances in cancer by investing in a broad portfolio of research, supporting the cancer research workforce, and sustaining the infrastructure that enables cutting-edge research to succeed.

Supporting High-Impact Cancer Research

NCI funds the most promising research in established areas of science and seizes opportunities in emerging areas of science. NCI-supported research is underway in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and beyond.

Investing across the Cancer Continuum

NCI’s overarching strategy focuses on supporting a broad portfolio of research, tackling the problem of cancer from many angles. Basic, translational, population science, and clinical research are essential to improve cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

  • Cancer biology research supported by NCI drives virtually all major advances made against cancer.

  • Cancer prevention research by NCI-funded investigators has contributed to the decline in the overall rate of cancer incidence in the United States during the last 25 years. 


    Cancer detection an d diagnosis research funded by NCI supports improvements in the identification and characterization of cancer and its precursors.

  • Cancer treatment research funded by NCI, including basic and preclinical studies and the testing of new agents in clinical trials, has aided the development of most of the cancer therapies available today.

  • Public health and cancer control research by NCI-funded investigators has improved the delivery of cancer care and enabled new interventions to improve cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship.

Female Scientist in Lab

Highlighted Scientific Opportunities

NCI continually pursues new and emerging scientific opportunities that, with further investment, would catalyze additional progress in cancer research. Read about four areas of opportunity highlighted in the Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Plan and Budget Proposal: improving cancer clinical trials, designing drugs with computer-based approaches, preventing cancer with precision medicine, and understanding tumor dynamics.

Strengthening the Cancer Research Enterprise

NCI has built and supported an infrastructure—consisting of people working in science and the places at which they work—that has become known as the cancer research enterprise. NCI’s investments in the cancer research workforce and in world-class facilities and resources include the following: