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Progress in Cancer Research

Basic, molecular, epidemiologic, and clinical research are leading to improved cancer prevention, screening, and treatment. Decreasing cancer mortality death rates and increasing numbers of cancer survivors are important indicators of the progress we have made. As the leader of the National Cancer Program, NCI has played a major role in the progress that has been made by the cancer community. But work still needs to be done to reduce the burden of cancer for those who face a diagnosis.

Progress in research depends on the work of individual scientists and research institutions—universities and medical centers across the country, the NCI-designated cancer centers, the National Clinical Trials Network, the NCI Community Oncology Research Program—as well as collaborations between the private and public sector. In this section, we highlight the stories behind some notable milestones and present data about ongoing progress.

  • Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer

    The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer is an update of rates for new cases, deaths, and trends for the most common cancers in the United States.

  • Cancer Trends Progress Report

    The Cancer Trends Progress Report summarizes the nation’s advances against cancer in relation to Healthy People targets set out by the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Research Advances by Cancer Type

    Find NCI’s collection of research advances for common cancers such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.

  • Stories of Discovery

    Collection of stories that describe landmark developments in cancer prevention and treatment supported by NCI funding.

  • Milestones in Cancer Research and Discovery

    During the past 250 years, we have witnessed many landmark discoveries in our efforts to make progress against cancer, an affliction known to humanity for thousands of years. This timeline shows a few key milestones in the history of cancer research.