As Nobel-Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr supposedly said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” In this magazine, we highlight several areas of investigation likely to shape future research conducted in CCR.
Nature has generated an astonishing array of molecules with diverse forms and functions. New technologies will make it possible to explore the immense richness of chemicals found in natural sources to discover tomorrow’s nature-derived cancer drugs.
Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and targeted therapies have been standard treatments for cancer. A revolutionary wave of cancer treatments that use patients’ own cells as drugs will permanently change how we treat the disease.
Nearly one-third of patients diagnosed with cancer have a rare tumor. New research into the subject will lead to much-needed treatments for patients with rare tumors and shed light on how to treat subsets of more common cancers.
Clinical trials have been vital to advancing cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. New trial designs will increase clinical trial speed and flexibility and the likelihood that a trial will benefit more individuals who enroll.
RNA, once thought of as a simple go-between from DNA to protein, is now recognized as one of biology’s most versatile molecules. Interrogating the RNA biology of cancer will uncover new diagnostic and treatment strategies.
The microbiome, trillions of microorganisms that intermingle with each person’s cells, influences human biology in ways we barely understand. Incorporating how it contributes to cancer development and prevention will lead to a more complete understanding of cancer.
The metabolism of cancer cells differs markedly from that of healthy cells. It is now becoming clear that these differences may be a driving force of cancer cells. This insight will lead to new approaches to disrupt cancers cells’ metabolic pathways.
What makes one person more likely to get cancer than another? Understanding the molecular basis of cancer susceptibility remains one of the holy grails of cancer research and will improve the ability to prevent and treat cancer.
Modern biomedical research and clinical care generate more data than ever. Big data will provide an unprecedented opportunity to understand cancer at every level and help make treatment decisions based on the knowledge distilled from these massive collections.