NCI’s Provocative Questions in cancer research

The US National Cancer Institute has just released its 9 new ‘Provocative Questions’.

These are important because:

  • NIH funding programs offer tailored calls to address them
  • They highlight areas of focus for cancer research that have been overlooked, intractable and/or there is new technology to address old questions
  • One of the largest funders of cancer research has consulted widely to create the list and that makes interesting reading.

They present opportunities for niche contributions from researchers and they are worth considering

  • PQ1: What are the underlying causes of the unexplained rising incidence in certain early-onset cancers?
  • PQ2: How does intermittent fasting affect cancer incidence, treatment response, or outcome?
  • PQ3: How do selective pressures affect cell competition and cooperation during cancer initiation or development?
  • PQ4: What mechanisms explain sex differences in cancer incidence, lesion location, or response to therapy?
  • PQ5: What strategies can block or reverse the emergence of new cell lineage states induced by cancer treatments?
  • PQ6: How can cancer cachexia be reversed?
  • PQ7: What methods can be developed to integrate patient-generated health data into electronic health records?
  • PQ8: What strategies improve and sustain the coordination of comprehensive healthcare for underserved cancer patients with comorbid conditions?
  • PQ9: What methods can be developed to effectively study small or rare populations relevant to cancer research?

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