WhAt PRogRess AnD PRomise
Does the futuRe holD?
in This secTion You WiLL Learn:
• research, in ParTicuLar cancer
genomics research, WiLL con Tinue
To revoLu Tionize Precision medicine,
incLuding eXPanding The more Precise
use of eXis Ting TheraPies.
• Liquid bioPsies hoLd greaT Promise for
cancer de Tec Tion, moniToring PaTienT
• research advances ma Y even TuaLLY
enabLe The deveLoPmenT of Precision
medicines for aLL Po Ten TiaL
TheraPeu Tic Targe Ts.
Research has powered spectacular advances against cancer,
and many more people are living longer and leading fuller
lives after a cancer diagnosis than ever before. Even with
this progress, it is estimated that in 2015 alone more than
1. 65 million U.S. residents will receive a cancer diagnosis
and more than 589,000 will die from the disease ( 6).
Worldwide, it is predicted that in 2015 there will be 15. 2
million new cases of cancer and 8. 9 million deaths from
this insidious disease ( 7). Given this enormous burden of
cancer, it is clear that more research is required if we are to
make future lifesaving progress.
Many researchers, however, including AACR President
(2015–2016) José Baselga, MD, PhD (see p. 102), think that
the best is yet to come, as the explosion of new knowledge
about cancer and the exciting technological advances, along
with our ever-increasing understanding of how to apply
them, will further revolutionize cancer care.
Research in cancer genomics and its application in the
clinic are the foundation of precision medicine. Cancer
genomics research has dramatically increased the number
of known cancer-associated genomic alterations and has
thereby yielded an explosion of potential targets for the
development of novel precision anticancer therapeutics. The
pace of this progress is expected to not only continue, but
also accelerate in the coming years, and it will be essential
to engage computational biology and bioinformatics
researchers more fully if we are to efficiently analyze
the information and identify the targets with the most
therapeutic potential (see Going Big, p. 30).
is the development and application
of data-analytical and theoretical
methods, mathematical modeling,
and computational simulation
techniques to the study of
biological, behavioral, and
is the research, development, or
application of computational tools
and approaches for expanding the
use of biological, medical,
behavioral, or health data,
including those to acquire, store,
organize, archive, analyze, or
visualize such data.