NCI Issues Strategic Plan
The National Cancer Institute has released its new strategic plan, the National Cancer Plan, that lays out eight goals designed to support the aims of President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, including:

1. Prevent Cancer. All people and society adopt proven strategies that reduce the risk of cancer.

2. Detect Cancers Early. Cancers are detected and treated at early stages, enabling more effective treatment, and reducing morbidity and mortality.

3. Develop Effective Treatments. Effective treatment, with minimal side effects, is accessible to all people with all cancers, including those with rare cancers, metastatic cancers, and treatment-resistant disease.

4. Eliminate Inequities. Disparities in cancer risk factors, incidence, treatment side effects, and mortality are eliminated through equitable access to prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship care.

5. Deliver Optimal Care. The health care system delivers to all people evidence-based, patient-centered care that prioritizes prevention, reduces cancer morbidity and mortality, and improves the lives of cancer survivors, including people living with cancer.

6. Engage Every Person. Every person with cancer or at risk for cancer has an opportunity to participate in research or otherwise contribute to the collective knowledge base, and barriers to their participation are eliminated.

7. Maximize Data Utility. Secure sharing of privacy-protected health data is standard practice throughout research, and researchers share and use available data to achieve rapid progress against cancer.

8. Optimize the Workforce. The cancer care and research workforce is diverse, reflects the communities served, and meets the needs of all people with cancer and those at risk for cancer, ensuring they live longer and healthier lives.

Projects currently under way as part of the Cancer Moonshot are featured throughout the plan and connected to other cancer research efforts, including attacking lung cancer: “Lung cancer, the most common and, for many years, one of the most untreatable cancers, is also a testament to advances in precision oncology. Multiple drugs are now available that target specific genetic changes in lung cancer, helping many patients live much longer and with a better quality of life than was thought possible a decade ago. Immunotherapy has also made inroads in lung cancer, building on the progress achieved with targeted therapies.”

According to Dr. Patrick Nana-Sinkam, Chair, ATS Assembly on Thoracic Oncology, “We have made significant progress in the fight against cancer, but our work is not done. The Cancer Moonshot initiative will serve to keep cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment for all as priorities with a goal of bringing us closer to the day when cancer is eradicated.”

Last Reviewed: June 2023