Research Areas

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Making sustained progress against cancer requires advances across the research continuum, from the biology of cancer cells to studies of large populations. Learn about the breadth of NCI’s work and the programs the institute supports to advance cancer research.

Cancer Biology Research

Studying the differences between normal cells and cancer cells is critical to progress against the disease.

Cancer Genomics Research

Investigating the genetic foundations of cancer has improved our understanding of cancer biology and led to new methods of diagnosing and treating the disease.

Research on Causes of Cancer

Resesarch to understand the risk factors and mutations associated with cancer is vital to reducing cancer's harmful effects.

Cancer Diagnosis Research

Accurate information derived from diagnostic tools is crucial for making decisions at all stages of cancer care. NCI supports research on the development of tests and imaging technologies that can provide specific information about an individual’s cancer.

Cancer Prevention Research

NCI-supported scientists are studying cancer risk, the biology of how cancer develops, ways to disseminate prevention interventions, and more.

Cancer Screening and Early Detection Research

NCI supports and directs research on screening and the early detection of cancer, including studies to develop and validate biological markers.

Cancer Treatment Research

NCI is leading efforts on several fronts to develop and evaluate new cancer treatments.

Public Health Research and Cancer

Studying cancer and its burden on a population-wide scale can provide information that directly affects the health of millions of people.

Cancer Health Disparities Research

NCI is working to understand and address cancer health disparities, such as the higher cancer death rates, less frequent use of proven screening tests, and higher rates of advanced cancer diagnoses among certain populations as compared with others.

Childhood Cancers Research

Learn about the range of research that NCI supports to address pediatric cancers, from basic science to clinical research.

Clinical Trials and NCI

Clinical trials are essential for moving methods of preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer from the laboratory to physicians and other clinical settings. NCI continues to focus on building a clinical trials enterprise that is a national resource.

The Global Burden of Cancer

NCI is committed to supporting international programs and partnerships that drive progress against cancer worldwide.