Future Directions

An immediate and intensified focus on these topics will accelerate scientific progress and increase the impact of DCCPS-sponsored research.

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Promote cancer control research that leads to equitable and optimal health outcomes for all populations

Preventing and eliminating cancer disparities is fundamental to realizing optimal and equitable health for all populations. Our public health framework for ending cancer as we know it includes addressing avoidable and modifiable determinants of poor health and eliminating persistent injustices through research at the individual, social, institutional, structural, environmental, and policy levels.

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Develop innovative strategies to efficiently and ethically collect, analyze, share, and reuse data to fill information gaps and accelerate research that will reduce the cancer burden

Cancer control research will be accelerated through the enhancement, expansion, accessibility to, and use of new and existing data resources. This acceleration will be achieved by identifying and filling current data and infrastructure gaps, using innovative methods for data collection, linkage, harmonization, analysis, interpretation, sharing, and dissemination. Secondary data use will be optimized by making the data findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable, traceable, licensed, and connected (FAIR-TLC).

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Evidence-based Cancer
Control Policy Research

Evaluate existing policies and inform future policies that impact optimal approaches for cancer prevention, control, care, and outcomes

Support research to inform policy development and to assess the impact of existing policies at the local, state, and federal government levels, and in the private sector (e.g., health systems). Support will be for research that is both proactive (to develop evidence that informs new cancer control policies) and reactive (to evaluate potential benefits and harms of existing cancer control policies). Evidence must include data generated in diverse populations and communities, especially underrepresented or disadvantaged groups.

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Expand and enhance digital health research to develop and test the efficacy and effectiveness of technology-based interventions that support cancer prevention and control

Digital health encompasses health IT, mobile health, wearables, telehealth, and personalized medicine, as well as the infrastructure and ecosystem that enables integration and analysis of data from these technologies. Digital health approaches can advance the assessment, monitoring, and understanding of multilevel cancer risk factors and determinants; increase participant reach and engagement in clinical, behavioral, and epidemiological cancer research; and improve the delivery of cancer-related care. Peer-reviewed, non-proprietary evidence is needed to evaluate the validity and impact of these technologies and inform both practitioners and regulatory bodies concerning their use in diverse populations.

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Risk Factors

Identify and intervene upon modifiable risk factors, alone and in combination, to prevent cancer across the life course, and among cancer survivors, to improve treatment response and health outcomes

Modifiable risk factors account for a large proportion of cancer incidence and mortality, yet the role of specific risk factors and how combinations of factors influence risk over time is unknown for some cancers. Novel strategies are needed to assess and influence the impact of modifiable risk factors across the life course, to effectively intervene at the individual and community level at critical timepoints, and design dynamic, multilevel strategies to reduce risk.

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Expand and enhance cancer research to understand and mitigate the effects of environmental risk factors and disruptions to care resulting from climate change

Climate change is the greatest environmental and public health threat facing humanity. Climate change-fueled events and long-term shifts in exposures increase cancer risk, impede health behaviors, and disrupt cancer care delivery. Populations disproportionately burdened by cancer are also those at greatest risk of harm from these changes. A multi-pronged research effort is urgently required to address the impact of climate change on cancer control.

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Opportunities for Research