NCI Aiming to Meet Goal of Eliminating Suffering and Death From Cancer by 2015

July 1, 2003

Senior officials of the National Cancer Institute are developingstrategies to achieve the goal set forth by NCI director Andrew C.von Eschenbach, MD, of eliminating the suffering and deathcaused by cancer by 2015. The institute expects to unveil the newstrategies during the next 12 months.

Senior officials of the National Cancer Institute are developingstrategies to achieve the goal set forth by NCI director Andrew C.von Eschenbach, MD, of eliminating the suffering and deathcaused by cancer by 2015. The institute expects to unveil the newstrategies during the next 12 months."These are key initiatives that we are going to be embarking upon," Dr.von Eschenbach said at a meeting of the National Cancer Advisory Board.The new strategies will encompass the research funded by the NCI acrossthe areas of discovery, development, and delivery, and will include NCIand the scientists it funds as well as the cancer community as a whole."One of the strategies is in the area of molecular epidemiology," theNCI director said. "The others are integrated cancer biology; the strategicdevelopment of cancer interventions; programs in early detection,prevention, and prediction; integrated clinical trials systems; overcominghealth disparities; and bioinformatics."Dr. von Eschenbach emphasized that the goal is not to eliminatecancer, but the morbidity and mortality caused by its various forms. "Itis important to keep that distinction before us," he said.He said that as we begin to understand cancer as a disease process,we now have multiple opportunities to intervene: to preempt cancerinitiation and progression so that some people never develop the disease;to detect the disease early and eliminate it in those who dodevelop cancer; and to manage the progression and evolution of thedisease so that individuals with cancer do not die from it. The NCI directorsaid his optimism that researchers can achieve the goal in little more than adecade stems from the knowledge base and scientific expertise that thenation has built since the signing of the National Cancer Act in 1971.