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Research Areas

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

    The broad base of knowledge created by studying the differences between normal cells and cancer cells has been critical to progress against the disease.

  • Cancer Genomics Research

    Investigating the genomic 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

    Understanding the exposures and risk factors that cause cancer, as well as the genetic abnormalities associated with the disease, has helped us to reduce certain exposures and to ameliorate their harmful effects.

  • Cancer Prevention Research

    NCI’s prevention research has a broad focus, from identifying environmental and lifestyle factors that influence cancer risk to studying the biology of how cancer develops and studying ways to disseminate prevention interventions.

  • Cancer Screening and Early Detection Research

    NCI supports and directs research on screening and the early detection of cancer, including cancer screening trials, to learn the best way to find cancer and precancers to prevent deaths from the disease.

  • Cancer Diagnosis Research

    Accurate information derived from diagnostic tools is critical 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 Treatment Research

    The development of more-effective and less-toxic treatments is fundamental to improving outcomes for patients with cancer. 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 important information that influences practices, policies, and programs that directly affect the health of millions of people in the United States each year.

  • 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.

  • Research on Childhood Cancers

    Learn about the range of research that NCI supports to address pediatric cancers, from basic science to clinical research on new treatments, all aimed at providing the best care for childhood cancer patients and survivors.

  • Global Cancer Research

    NCI is confronting the global burden of cancer by creating sustainable international partnerships, supporting programs that address global gaps in research and scientific training, and disseminating information and best practices that drive improvements in cancer research and cancer control.