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History of the NCI Cancer Centers Program

In the early decades of the 20th century, a concerned public was fearful of the still mysterious disease of cancer. Physicians and scientists were drawn to the field by the challenges of the unknown, the opportunities provided by new technology, and the desire to respond to human suffering. The history of cancer research in America begins around the turn of the 20th century with small independent laboratories and eventually becomes an ever-growing network of universities, hospitals and institutes where collaboration, team science, and overarching interdisciplinary projects now drive discoveries that are quickly translated into practical advantages for patients.

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