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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 2022 Annual Plan and Budget Proposal.

  • Cancer Drug Resistance: Unraveling Its Complexity

    Drug resistance remains one of the biggest challenges in cancer therapy. Cancers often have multiple mechanisms for surviving and growing, which may differ from patient to patient, and even from tumor to tumor. Catalyzing research aimed at solving the puzzle of why cancers become resistant to treatment will enable development of new strategies to overcome or prevent drug resistance in patients.

  • Molecular Diagnostics for Cancer Treatment: Expanding beyond the Genome

    Precision medicine in cancer using genomic information about a patient’s tumor has revolutionized cancer diagnosis and treatment. Progress will continue as genomic and proteomic information are integrated, as doing so will provide a clearer picture of a patient’s cancer and help inform cancer treatment.

  • Obesity and Cancer: Pursuing Precision Public Health

    Nearly 40% of adults and 20% of children are obese, and those percentages are increasing. Not only is obesity associated with a higher risk of 13 types of cancer, it can also adversely affect cancer treatment and survival. Research to untangle the relationship between obesity and cancer will inform the development of effective strategies that prevent obesity and promote weight loss to reduce cancer risk and improve patient outcomes.

  • Cancer Survivorship: Addressing Complex Needs throughout the Lifespan

    The number of cancer survivors in the United States has grown dramatically over the past several decades, with more than 22.2 million estimated by 2030. More research is essential for developing effective interventions that mitigate the many short- and long-term adverse effects of cancer and its treatment. These interventions will improve the well-being and quality of life of cancer survivors.