We have made significant advances against cancer, with
many more people living longer and leading fuller lives
after a cancer diagnosis than ever before. Even with this
progress, however, it is estimated that in 2016 alone,
more than 1. 68 million U.S. residents will receive a
cancer diagnosis, and more than 595,000 will die from
the disease ( 3).
Despite this enormous burden of cancer, many researchers,
including AACR President (2016–2017) Nancy E.
Davidson, MD (see p. 102), think the future is bright and
that through research, we will be able to power more
advances against cancer.
Research is the foundation on which progress against
cancer has been and continues to be made. We have found
that the more we know about the biology of cancer and
about an individual, the more precisely we are able to
prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat cancer for that person.
Thus, it is clear that more research that provides us with an
even more comprehensive understanding of the biology of
cancer and its causes is required if we are to make future
Recently, discoveries in the fields of cancer genomics
and immunology have been particularly fruitful and
have firmly established two new pillars of cancer care:
precision therapy and immunotherapy. These exciting
fields of research also show immense promise for the future
because the pace of progress in these areas is expected to
As discussed in Biomedical Research (see p. 48), however,
if we are to efficiently analyze and use the explosion of
information generated by cancer genomics research
to identify new therapeutic targets and novel genomic
signatures of therapeutic response or prognosis, it will be
essential to more fully engage computational biology and
bioinformatics researchers who can help convert these
data into knowledge. Additionally, further progress will
be made by rapidly developing and incorporating new
research technologies across the entire biomedical research
cycle (see sidebar on CRISPR 101, p. 101).
• The more we know about the biology of cancer and the individual in whom it occurs,
the more precisely we are able to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat cancer.
• Research, in particular cancer genomics research, will continue to revolutionize cancer
treatment, including expanding the more precise use of existing therapies.
• Developing an even more comprehensive, whole-patient understanding of cancer
will accelerate the pace of progress toward precision cancer prevention.
ANTICIPATING FUTURE PR
In this section you will learn:
is the development and application
of data-analytical and theoretical
methods, mathematical modeling,
and computational simulation
techniques to the study of
biological, behavioral, and social
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 (195).