History and Timeline

Cancer prevention and early detection research has been thriving at the National Cancer Institute for more than 45 years. Since 1971, the science of cancer prevention has been infused by the guiding principles of reducing cancer risk and detecting cancer early. Whether the focus of cancer prevention research was on developing agents, biomarkers, clinical trials, screening approaches, lifestyle interventions, or measurement validations, the decades of dedicated effort have continued to advance knowledge and help people live longer, healthier lives.

Select a decade below to view the timeline of events for that period.



President Richard Nixon signing the National Cancer Act on December 23, 1971. This is a formal setting with a row of senators visible and some other officials and dignitaries.

December: National Cancer Act Signed

President Richard M. Nixon signs the National Cancer Act, which authorizes the NCI Director to coordinate all activities of the National Cancer Program, to establish national cancer research centers, and to establish national cancer control programs.


NCI Awards Cancer Control Grants for Ovarian Screenings

Cancer control grants are awarded to state health departments to increase ovarian cancer screenings for low-income women.


Senate Select Committee on Nutrition Produces Report on US Dietary Goals

Lead by Senator George McGovern, the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition produces a report on ‚ÄúThe Dietary Goals for the United States.‚ÄĚ This publication recommends a low-fat, high-fiber diet to lower the risk of diseases such as diabetes and cancer. The report stimulates interest and increased research in the area of nutrition.


Community Hospital Oncology Program Originates

NCI begins to organize the Community Hospital Oncology Program (CHOP), a predecessor of the Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP).


Public Health Service Publication Provides Diet Guidelines

The Surgeon General publishes ‚ÄúHealthy People: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention,‚ÄĚ which provides nutrition advice. This is the first public health service publication to provide diet guidelines.


October: NCI Diet Recommendations Announced           

NCI announces that a balanced, low-fat diet can reduce the risk of roughly 30% of cancers. Diet recommendations include low alcohol intake and increased amounts of fiber.



October: NCI Approves Concept for Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP)        

The concept for a community-based program is approved by NCI. The program is aimed at providing cancer care and research to underserved areas and creating a conduit for technology transfer.


Chemoprevention Research Program Established

The chemoprevention research program is established to locate cancer-reducing micronutrients or synthetic compounds.


NCI Provides Grants for Cancer Prevention Research under Small Business Innovation Law

Congress authorizes the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program under the Small Business Innovation Development Act (P.L. 97-219) to stimulate private sector contributions to federal research and development needs. NCI uses this program to provide grants for cancer prevention research.


Smoking, Tobacco, and Cancer Intervention Research Program Launched                            

The Smoking, Tobacco, and Cancer Program (STCP) intervention research program is launched to test specific intervention conduits such as the media, schools, and health care providers. 


New Prevention Research Program Begins

NCI begins a new program to address prevention research in diet, chemoprevention, early detection, and identification of high-risk occupations.


July: NCI Funds the New Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP)              

The CCOP, 62 clinical oncology centers throughout the nation that are responsible for enrolling patients in NCI trials, is funded. These centers conduct cancer treatment, prevention, and control clinical trials in an effort to develop clinical prevention and symptom management.


December: NCI Adds New Division Devoted to Prevention and Control

The NCI creates the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC).


Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) Starts Programs, Trials, and Studies

The DCPC establishes the Cancer Control Science Program to publicize cancer control knowledge. Clinical trials in chemoprevention and diet and nutrition begin, and the DCPC adds preclinical efficacy and toxicology studies.


May: NCI Discusses Dietary Health Claims with Company           

NCI meets with the Kellogg Company to discuss health claims in a publicity campaign for All-Bran cereal that promotes the cancer prevention benefits of high-fiber, low-fat foods.


May: Coordination of Linxian China Dysplasia Trial Starts

The Linxian China Dysplasia Trial begins with coordination between the Cancer Institute of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the NCI.  People with severe esophageal dysplasia begin taking either vitamin and mineral supplements or placebos in order to test the etiologic and preventative role of vitamins and minerals in the late stages of esophageal carcinogenesis.


Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene (ATBC) Cancer Prevention Study Starts                           

The purpose of the ATBC study was to determine whether certain vitamin supplements would prevent lung cancer and other cancers in a group of 29,133 male smokers in Finland. The 50- to 69-year-old participants took a pill daily for five to eight years that contained either alpha-tocopherol (a form of vitamin E), beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A), both, or a placebo (inactive pill that looked like the vitamin).


Community Clinical Oncology Program Expands to Large Prevention and Control Trials

CCOP expands its research portfolio to include large-scale cancer prevention and control trials. 


NCI Develops Working Guidelines for Cervical and Breast Cancer Screenings

Along with other organizations, the NCI develops Working Guidelines for cervical and breast cancer screenings, including regular mammograms by age 40 and annual mammograms after age 50.


Group photo of the 2015-2016 CPFP Fellows

Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP) Begins

The CPFP is instituted to provide clinicians and scientists with a strong foundation to train in the field of cancer prevention and control. The fellowship offers training toward an M.P.H. degree at an accredited university during the first year, followed by mentored research with investigators at the NCI, and opportunities for cutting-edge research in the basic, quantitative, social and behavioral sciences, and clinical cancer prevention.


Law Mandates Medicare Coverage of Mammography Screenings

President Reagan signs P.L. 100-360, The Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988. It mandates that as of January 1, 1990, mammography provisions include biennial screening for women aged 65 and older and annual screenings for women aged 50 to 64. Women who are between the ages of 40 and 49 should have screenings available every other year, and by the time a woman is 40 she should have at least one mammogram.


January: NCI Approves the Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program (MB-CCOP)

NCI approves the MB-CCOP, which is aimed at providing minorities and people in underserved areas greater access to preventative trials and cancer treatment.



A cartoon of two women, in a working situation, with one of the women smokiing.

American Stop Smoking Intervention Study (ASSIST) Starts

Working in conjunction, the American Cancer Society and the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) announce the start of ASSIST. The study sets the goal of having a smoke-free society by 2000.


National 5-A-Day Public Health Message Supported

In conjunction with the Produce for Better Health Foundation, the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) begins supporting the National 5-A-Day message, which encourages the American public to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.


Chemoprevention, Intervention Trials Underway

The Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) is responsible for 27 intervention clinical trials, including synthetic retinoids and natural chemoprevention substances such as vitamins A, C, E, B12, folate, and beta-carotene.


Star Logo - Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene

April: Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT) Begins Enrollment

The BCPT begins enrolling women to test the chemopreventive drug tamoxifen. A total of 13,388 women age 35 and older who are at increased risk of breast cancer are accepted into the trial. 


October: NCI Convenes International Workshop on Breast Cancer Screening

An NCI-convened international workshop on breast cancer screening reviews published and unpublished data from eight randomized controlled clinical trials, including the HIP trial that was launched in 1963, and concludes that screening with mammography reduces breast cancer mortality among women ages 50-69.


October: Enrollment for the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial Begins

PCPT starts enrolling participants. The intention of the 18,882-man trial is to determine whether or not the drug finasteride can prevent prostate cancer in men. The drug is approved for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, but it is believed that it also reduces levels of the male hormone that is involved in prostate cancer development.


NCI convenes breast cancer screening workshop

December: NCI Drops Mammography Guidelines

The NCI drops its previous mammography guidelines by no longer advising that women under 50 should have annual mammograms. 


Trial Results Show Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) Screening Reduces Colorectal Cancer Mortality

Results from an NCI-supported, randomized controlled clinical trial show that annual screening with guaiac FOBT can help reduce colorectal cancer mortality by about 33%.


CCOP Network Helps with Colorectal Adenoma Prevention Study (CAPS)

The CCOP network assists the Cancer and Leukemia Group B in the CAPS. This study evaluates the effectiveness of aspirin in reducing early-stage colorectal tumors.


Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial Begins Enrollment

Participant enrollment begins for the PLCO trial, a large population-based randomized clinical trial evaluating cancer screening by chest x- rays, flexible sigmoidoscopy, transvaginal ultrasound, blood tests, and digital rectal exams in more than 150,000 men and women ages 55 to 74.


Trial Finds Beta-Carotene Increases Lung Cancer in Finnish Males

The Alpha-Tocopherol (vitamin E)/ Beta-Carotene Prevention Study (ATBC) findings indicate that beta-carotene in fact increases lung cancer incidence in Finnish males. 


ALTS - Alternatives in Women's Health Care

ASCUS/LSIL Triage Study (ALTS) Begins Enrollment

ALTS starts enrolling participants. This study concerns treatment of mild abnormalities found on the cervix during Pap tests. Women in the trial might have: immediate colposcopy, no treatment until the screenings indicate a high-grade lesion, or human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. 


NCI Establishes Separate Divisions for Prevention and Control/Population Sciences

The NCI reorganizes and divides the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) into the Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP) and the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). The DCP focuses more exclusively on cancer prevention, while the DCCPS explores population genetics, epidemiology, behavior, society, and welfare of cancer survivors.


Star Logo - Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene

Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT) Shows Tamoxifen Reduces Breast Cancer Incidence

Results from the BCPT show that the drug tamoxifen reduces the incidence of breast cancer by 49% among women who are at increased risk of the disease. The Food and Drug Administration subsequently approved tamoxifen for the prevention of breast cancer in high-risk women.


Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) is Founded

The EDRN is established to coordinate development, evaluation, and application of biomarkers of cancer and cancer risk in a network of institutions. EDRN includes biomarker developmental labs, clinical and epidemiologic centers, biomarker validation labs, and a data management and coordinating center.


Rapid Access to Preventive Intervention Development (RAPID) Program Begins

DCP begins to develop the RAPID program, which provides contract support to investigators who need help to advance laboratory and clinical testing on various chemopreventive agents and molecules.


Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib (APC) Trial Starts Enrollment

Enrollment for the APC clinical trial begins, assigning more than 2,000 participants 200 mg of celecoxib (Celebrex¬ģ) twice a day. The drug is expected to block cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes, which are turned on by precancerous and cancerous tissues. The trial is part of a larger search for effective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs acting as cancer-preventing mechanisms.


Star Logo - Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene

Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR) Commences

The STAR clinical trial begins. Its goal is to compare the effectiveness of both drugs in reducing breast cancer incidence and to compare adverse side effects. Over 22,000 women spanning 200 clinics will take one of the two drugs for 5 years. Enrollment is completed in November 2004.



A variety of green vegetables displayed at a market.

April: Polyp Prevention Trial Finds Low-Fat, High Fiber Diet Does Not Influence Risk of Recurrence of Colorectal Adenomas

The Polyp Prevention Trial tested the hypothesis that dietary intervention can inhibit the development of recurrent colorectal adenomas, the precursors of most large-bowel cancers. The study results found that adopting a diet that is low in fat and high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables does not influence the risk of recurrence of colorectal adenomas. The primary objective was to determine whether a low fat, high fiber, high vegetable and fruit eating plan would decrease the recurrence of adenomatous polyps of the large bowel. Secondary objectives were to: evaluate effectiveness of the intervention program with respect to participant achievement of dietary goals; examine dietary changes and associated biochemical markers in blood; and assess impact on quality of life.


July: Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) Begins Recruiting Men 

The SELECT starts recruiting men over the age of 55 to test the effectiveness of these two dietary supplements as prostate cancer prevention agents.


(NLST) Researchers Issue Finding on Overdiagnosis

National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) Begins

The NLST trial is launched. It is aimed at comparing the effectiveness of two early lung cancer detection tests, single-view chest x-ray and spiral-computed tomography.


May: Results from the Colorectal Adenoma Prevention Study (CAPS) Released

Results from the CAPS clinical trial indicate that daily use of aspirin can reduce the development of colorectal tumors by 35% in patients with a pre-existing history of polyps.


ALTS - Alternatives in Women's Health Care

Initial Results Released from the ASCUS/LSIL Triage Study (ALTS) on HPV Testing

Initial results from the ALTS indicate that HPV testing can determine whether atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) will progress into cervical cancer. HPV testing is found not useful for women with low-grade lesions due to the high incidence of HPV in women with these specific abnormalities.


June: Results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) Released

PCPT results show that the drug finasteride, which reduces the production of male hormones in the body, lowers a man's risk of prostate cancer by about 25%, demonstrating that prostate cancer, like breast cancer, can be prevented.


Cover page of 'Decades of Progress 1983-2003'.

August: ‚ÄúDecades of Progress 1983 to 2003‚ÄĚ Published

The first 20 years of the NCI Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), the precursor to the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), are documented. (View the Report (PDF, 2 MB))


December: Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib (APC) Trial Suspended

The APC clinical trial is suspended based on an increased incidence of major cardiovascular events in participants taking celecoxib (Celebrex¬ģ). Other NCI trials continue with a revision to consent forms, and research into the benefits of celecoxib continues. Despite suspension of the trial and obvious negative side effects, the DCP observes 33% to 45% fewer adenomas in those within the APC trial, indicating further research possibilities such as anti-inflammatory pathways.


November: Results of the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT) Updated

Updated BCPT results show a continued reduction of invasive breast cancer incidence as well as a decrease in some negative side effects. These side effects, first noted following the 1998 study, include increased risk of stroke, pulmonary embolism, and deep vein thrombosis.


A variety of green vegetables displayed at a market.

February: Low-Fat Diet May Have Small Impact on Breast Cancer in Women

Results from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Modification (DM) prevention study show that reducing dietary fat and increasing fruits, grains, and vegetables may reduce risk of invasive breast cancer in some women, but has no effect on invasive colorectal cancer. Although more than 19,500 postmenopausal women followed the modified diet, the overall breast cancer risk reduction of 9% was not statistically significant after an average of 8.1 years. Women whose diets were highest in fat before they entered the study, however, were 22% less likely to develop breast cancer than the comparison group. (Read the DCP News Note)


Star Logo - Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene

April: Initial Results of the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR) Released

Initial results of the STAR clinical trial show that postmenopausal women who are at increased risk of breast cancer can reduce their risk of developing the disease if they take the drug raloxifene, an antiestrogen agent already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. Mature results from STAR later show that raloxifene is somewhat less effective than tamoxifen in preventing breast cancer but that it also has less toxicity, including a substantially lower risk of endometrial cancer.


A variety of green vegetables displayed at a market.

January: Low-Fat Diet May Help Prevent Breast Cancer Recurrence

Findings from the NCI-sponsored Women's Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS) was published. Interim results from the first large-scale randomized clinical trial testing an intervention show that women who reduce their consumption of fat after treatment for early-stage breast cancer may also reduce their risk of a breast cancer recurrence. (Read the DCP News Note)


A variety of green vegetables displayed at a market.

July: Adopting Diet High in Vegetables, Fruit, Fiber, Low in Fat Did Not Reduce Breast Cancer Events or Mortality for Early Stage Breast Cancer Survivors

The published results of the Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) randomized trial show that among survivors of early stage breast cancer, adoption of a diet that was very high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber and low in fat did not reduce additional breast cancer events or mortality during a 7.3-year follow-up period.


October: Initial results from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) Released

Initial results from the SELECT clinical trial indicate that selenium and vitamin E do not contribute to the prevention of prostate cancer. In fact, test results suggest a slight increase in prostate cancer incidence in subjects taking vitamin E.


PLCO Prostat lung colorectal ovarian

March: Prostate Results from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial Released

Results from the PLCO trial show that screening men 55 years of age and older with PSA tests and digital rectal exams was not effective in reducing prostate cancer mortality.



DCP Leads a Key Initiative in the (NIH) Glycoscience Common Fund Program

February: Alliance of Glycobiologists for Detection of Cancer Identify Key Antitumor Antibodies

The Alliance of Glycobiologists for Detection of Cancer find that cancer patients produce antibodies that target abnormal proteins with sugar molecules attached made by their tumors, suggesting that antitumor antibodies in the blood may be a source of sensitive biomarkers for cancer detection. (Read the NCI Press Release)


DNA Structure

August: Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) Continues as New Grants Awarded

The EDRN continues the biomarker discovery and validation program with the awarding of 32 new grants to fund 20 biomarker development laboratories, eight clinical validation centers, three biomarker reference laboratories, and a data coordinating management and center.


(NLST) Researchers Issue Finding on Overdiagnosis

November: Initial Results of the Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) Released

Initial results of the NLST clinical trial show that screening with low-dose helical computerized tomography (CT) reduced lung cancer deaths by about 20% among current and former heavy smokers. (Read the NCI Q&A)


January:¬†‚ÄúAccomplishments in Cancer Clinical Trials‚ÄĚ Published

Highlights of the NCI Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), the precursor to the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), are updated in a report. (View the Report (PDF, 1 MB))


PLCO Prostat lung colorectal ovarian

June: Ovarian Results from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial Released

PLCO results show that screening for ovarian cancer with transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) and the CA-125 blood test did not result in fewer deaths from the disease compared with usual care. In addition, false-positive results from the two screening methods often led to unnecessary surgeries and other serious complications.


PLCO Prostat lung colorectal ovarian

October: Lung Results from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial Released

PLCO clinical trial results show that annual screening for lung cancer using a standard chest x-ray does not reduce the risk of dying from lung cancer when compared with no annual screening.


PLCO Prostat lung colorectal ovarian

January: Prostate Data Updated from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial

PLCO trial data show that after 13 years of follow-up, men who underwent annual prostate cancer screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and digital rectal examination had a 12% higher incidence of prostate cancer than men in the control group, but had the same rate of death from the disease. No evidence of a mortality benefit from screening was seen in subgroups defined by age, the presence of other illnesses, or pre-trial PSA testing. (Read the NCI Q&A)


PLCO Prostat lung colorectal ovarian

May: Colorectal Results from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial Released

Results of the PLCO trial confirm that screening people 55 years of age and older for colorectal cancer using flexible sigmoidoscopy reduces colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. In the PLCO, screened individuals had a 21% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer and a 26% lower risk of dying from the disease than the control subjects.


(NCORP) Gets Underway

June: NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Approved for Start              

NCORP is approved by the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors, opening the way for the program to bring state-of-the art cancer prevention, control, treatment and imaging clinical trials, cancer care delivery research, and disparities studies to individuals in their own communities. It replaces, but expands on the success of the Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), including the Minority-Based CCOPs; supersedes, but adds elements of the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP); and creates a network for cancer care delivery research.


August: Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) Findings Updated

Based on follow-up of trial participants for up to 18 years, the PCPT updated findings show that survival of the men on finasteride is equivalent to men who did not take the drug, and the reduction in risk of prostate cancer persists.


(NLST) Researchers Issue Finding on Overdiagnosis

December: National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) Researchers Issue Finding on Overdiagnosis

A detailed analysis of the primary NLST findings showed that screening can detect slow-growing tumors that otherwise may not cause clinical symptoms, and can lead to overdiagnosis. The probability was 18.5% that any lung cancer detected by screening with low-dose CT was an overdiagnosis, and 22.5% that a non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form, detected by low-dose CT was an overdiagnosis.  Overdiagnosis represents the potential harm of additional cost, anxiety, and morbidity associated with treatment. (Read the NCI Q&A)


February: Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) Findings Updated

In an update, SELECT researchers report that men who had high levels of selenium at the start of the trial, as assessed by measures of selenium in their toenail clippings, had almost double the chance of developing a high-grade prostate cancer if they took the selenium supplement compared to men with low levels of selenium at the start of the trial. Additionally, men with low selenium levels at the start of the trial had double the chance of developing a high-grade prostate cancer if they took the vitamin E supplement. (Read the NCI Q&A) 


May: Prevention of Early Menopause Study (POEMS) Clinical Trial Results Announced

The POEMS clinical trial results show young women with breast cancer were able to better preserve their fertility during cancer treatments by using hormone-blocking drug injections that put them into temporary menopause. (Read the NCI Press Release)


A variety of green vegetables displayed at a market.

July: Rationale and Design of the Men's Eating and Living (MEAL) Study Published

The MEAL Study begins assessing the effectiveness of a high-vegetable diet intervention for preventing clinical progression in men with early stage localized prostate cancer on active surveillance.


(NCORP) Gets Underway

August: NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Gets Underway

The NCORP awards 53 new 5-year grants to researchers across the country to conduct multi-site cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research studies in their communities. (Read the NCI News Note) 


Cancer Prevention and Control Central Institutional Review Board (CIRB) Established

January: Cancer Prevention and Control Central Institutional Review Board (CIRB) Established

The addition of the Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) CIRB extends the benefits of centralized IRB review to investigators participating in clinical trials sponsored by the Division of Cancer Prevention. The CPC CIRB’s role is to review studies developed by the DCP-sponsored NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) and the Consortia for Early Phase Trials Program. (Read the DCP News Note.)


NCORP Sites Participate in Enrolling Patients in the NCI-MATCH Trial

June: NCORP Sites Participate in Enrolling Patients in the NCI-MATCH (Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice) Precision Medicine Trial

The trial seeks to determine whether targeted therapies for people whose tumors have specific gene mutations will be effective regardless of their cancer type.  (Read the NCI Fact Sheet.)


DCP Leads a Key Initiative in the (NIH) Glycoscience Common Fund Program

July:  DCP Leads a Key Initiative in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Glycoscience Common Fund Program

The program supports the development of accessible and affordable new tools and technologies for studying the role complex carbohydrates in health and disease. (Read the DCP News Note.)


A thumbnail image of a breast MRI.  Source: Dr. Steven Harmes, Baylor University Medical Center.

August:  Consortium on Imaging and Biomarkers is Created with Grants to Eight Principal Investigators

The consortium focuses on combining imaging methods with biomarkers to improve the accuracy of screening, early cancer detection, and diagnosis of early stage cancers. Imaging information is obtained from various means, such as computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and optical-based imaging for real-time visualization of lesions. (Read the DCP News Note.)


October: NCI Awards Grants to Create the Consortium for Molecular Characterization of Screen-Detected Lesions

Supported by the Division of Cancer Prevention and the Division of Cancer Biology, the consortium has seven molecular characterization laboratories and a coordinating center, and focuses on the critical areas of characterizing molecular and cellular features of screen-detected pre-cancers and early cancers, and the tumor microenvironment. (Read the DCP News Note.)


The White House Announces $1 billion in Investments in the National Cancer Moonshot initiative

February: The White House Announces $1 billion in Investments in the National Cancer Moonshot initiative

Prevention, including cancer vaccine development and early cancer detection, are two of the five opportunity areas. (Read about the initiative.)


 MDS logo

May: Largest Ever US Study to Research Causes and Genetics of Blood Diseases Launched

NCI and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute fund the study of myelodysplastic syndromes ( MDS) and unexplained, persistent low red blood cell count (anemia) to build a national research resource. Patients are being recruited through NCI’s Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) and National Clinical Trials Network.


Vials of blood

May: Ovarian Cancer Study Tests Lead Time of Potential Biomarkers

Teams of scientists around the world, such as the Early Detection Research Network, are working to develop ways to detect early signs of ovarian cancer in blood. (Read the DCP News Note)


Logo of the Interactive Diet and Activity Tracking in AARP (IDATA) Study Data

June: Data from the Interactive Diet and Activity Tracking in AARP Study (IDATA) Are Made Available to Qualified Investigators  

Investigators looking into the relationship between physical activity, diet, and disease can request access to IDATA Study data via the Cancer Data Access System. (Read the DCP News Note) 


A Hispanic male patient receives Chemotherapy from a African-American Nurse through a port that is placed in his chest area. A caucasian female nurse looks on.

July: Olanzapine Helps Prevent Nausea and Vomiting Caused by Chemotherapy

Findings from a large phase III clinical trial show a drug currently used to treat several psychiatric conditions can help prevent nausea and vomiting in patients receiving chemotherapy. (Read the NCI Blog)


Image of a nurse embracing a cancer patient

October: Study Confirms Benefits of Early Palliative Care for Advanced Cancer 

Patients who received palliative care along with standard treatment for advanced cancer reported having a better quality of life and mood than patients who did not receive early palliative care. (Read the NCI Blog)


A flow diagram from breakthrough of cancer, to expansion and invasive phases.

December: Think Tank Emphasizes Identifying and Creating the Next Generation of Community-Based Cancer Prevention Studies

Cancer prevention research experts and stakeholders discuss the state of cancer prevention research, identify key prevention research priorities for NCI, and identify studies that could be conducted within the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). (Read the DCP News Note)


Cropped photo showing a partial group picture of the CPFP fellows

May: NCI’s Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP) Celebrates 30 Years

As the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP) celebrates its 30th anniversary, the successful cycle continues with the call for applications for the next class of fellows to start in 2018. (Read the DCP News Note) 


Logos of the NCI, ASCO, AACR, and ACS.

July: NCI Joins Leading Groups on Disparities Statement

NCI joins the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society in releasing a statement in the Journal of Clinical Oncology to guide cancer health disparities research.


An image of breast nodules detected during screening by standard 2D digital mammogram (left) and tomosynthesis (right).

October: TMIST Trial Aims to Provide Clarity on Breast Cancer Screening Approaches

A large nationwide clinical trial, the Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST), is launched to try to answer some important questions about the technologies used to screen for breast cancer. (Read the NCI Blog)


A thumbnail of the Pre-Cancer Atlas infographic.

October: Pre-Cancer Atlas and Other Human Tumor Atlas Network Funding Opportunity Announcements Released

Three funding opportunity announcements about the Pre-Cancer Atlas, associated with the Beau Biden Cancer MoonshotSM Initiative, are released with a goal to accelerate cancer research.


A syringe next to an open medical dictionary displaying the definition of ovarian cancer.

November: Experimental Ovarian Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise in Mice  

In mouse studies, an experimental vaccine strategy has shown promise for preventing ovarian cancer. The vaccine targets a protein that is present at elevated levels in approximately 90% of human ovarian epithelial cancers, the most common type of ovarian cancer. (Read the NCI Blog)


An open prescription bottle with Finasteride emptying out onto a table.

May: Finasteride is Found to be Safe in Long-Term Study Results

Twenty-five years after it opened for enrollment, the landmark Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) showed that finasteride, a common hormone-blocking drug, reduces men's risk of getting prostate cancer without increasing their risk of dying from the disease.


NCI Community Oncology Research Program

July: NCI and VA Collaborate to Boost Veterans’ Access to Cancer Clinical Trials

The NCI and VA Interagency Group to Accelerate Trials Enrollment, or NAVIGATE, launched at 12 VA facilities to enhance the ability of veterans with cancer to participate in trials of novel cancer treatments carried out through NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) and the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).  (Read the NCI Press Release)


An image of aspirin tablets.

September: Daily Low-dose of Aspirin Found to Have No Effect on Healthy Life Span in Older People

Initial findings from the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial showed that daily low-dose aspirin did not prolong healthy, independent living (life free of dementia or persistent physical disability) in healthy older adults without previous cardiovascular events.  (Read the NIH News Release)


A pregnant woman holding her stomach.

October: Hormone Injections Reduce Early Menopause, POEMS Trial Results Show

The final, 5-year results of the Prevention of Early Menopause Study (POEMS) show that giving some younger women with early-stage breast cancer a hormone-suppressing drug in addition to chemotherapy helps to preserve ovarian function and improves their ability to get pregnant after treatment. Women who get injections of goserelin along with standard breast cancer chemotherapy were more likely to become pregnant without developing negative side effects or shortening their lives, the NCI-sponsored study found. (Read the NCI Blog)


An image of an outstretched hand, holding a vitamin D.

November: Vitamin D Supplements Don’t Reduce Cancer Incidence

In the largest-ever randomized clinical trial testing vitamin D for cancer prevention, the supplement did not reduce the risk of developing cancer. The main goal of the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) was to see if there’s benefit to getting above the recommended dietary allowance, more than what is considered necessary for bone health. (Read the NCI Blog)


A person applying hand lotion.

December: Testing a Topical Drug for Breast Cancer Prevention

To explore alternatives to oral tamoxifen, which can help prevent breast cancer in women at an increased risk of the disease, that might have fewer side effects, researchers are testing a topical form of the drug in two clinical trials. These randomized placebo-controlled studies are evaluating a gel formulation of tamoxifen called 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) that women apply directly to the breasts. (Read the NCI Blog)


January: Final Verdict on Finasteride Published

Long-term data published on finasteride, a generic hormone-blocking drug that reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 25% in the landmark Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), showed that reduction in prostate cancer risk has continued since results were previously published and that finasteride has the lasting effect of reducing prostate cancer risk. Fewer than 100 men on the trial had died from the disease. (Read the NCI Blog)


(NCORP) Gets Underway

March: NCORP Tissue Procurement Protocol Opens at 12 Community Sites

At 12 NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) sites a new kind of study was opened for patients with advanced malignancies being treated with molecularly targeted therapies. The NCORP Tissue Procurement Protocol is not a treatment trial, but a study to assess if researchers can obtain for later analysis tissue and blood samples at baseline and upon progression in patients with advanced cancer being treated with molecularly targeted therapies. (Read the DCP News Note)


Partial section of an illustrated DNA strand.

April: Researchers take First Steps Toward Developing a Vaccine to Prevent Cancer in People with Lynch Syndrome

DCP’s PREVENT Cancer Preclinical Drug Development Program, which focuses on unmet needs in cancer prevention, recognized the potential of a vaccine to prevent cancer in individuals with Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition that elevates a person’s risk of colorectal, endometrial, and other types of cancer. Scientists reported results showing that the vaccine prevented the growth of colorectal tumors in a mouse model of Lynch syndrome and prolonged the mice’s survival compared with unvaccinated mice. (Read the NCI Blog)


(NCORP) Gets Underway

August: NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Expands to More States

NCI awarded 53 grants to researchers in the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) to conduct multi-site cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery studies in their communities. The awards went to 32 Community Sites and 14 Minority/Underserved Community Sites, who have assembled more than 1,000 affiliates across the country to carry out research. The network covers 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam, the largest geographic coverage in the program’s history. (Read the DCP News Note)


Partial illustration of a DNA structure.

September: ULACNet Aims to Optimize Clinical Interventions for Prevention of HPV-related Cancers in People Living with HIV

The United States-Latin American-Caribbean Clinical Trials Network (ULACNet) is developing evidence to improve and optimize approaches for prevention of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The research collaboration brings together institutions in the United States and counterparts in low- and middle-income countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region. (Read the Cancer Prevention Science blog.)



A variety of green vegetables displayed at a market.

January: Behavioral Interventions Do Not Reduce Prostate Cancer Progression Among Men with Early Stage Disease

Among men with early-stage prostate cancer managed with active surveillance, a behavioral intervention that increased vegetable consumption did not significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression, according to the published results of the Men’s Eating and Living (MEAL) study. The findings do not support using this intervention to decrease prostate cancer progression in this population.


A thumbnail image of EsoCheck‚ĄĘ and EsoGuard‚ĄĘ device.

February: New Technology Gives Patients Access to a 5-Minute, Office-Based Test to Identify Risk for Esophageal Cancer

A new technology coupled with a new biomarker test in clinical trials give patients timely access to a quick, accurate and less invasive way to identify risk for one type of esophageal cancer. EsoCheck‚ĄĘ and EsoGuard‚ĄĘ are the device and test created for the detection of Barrett's esophagus, the benign and treatable precursor condition to esophageal adenocarcinomas. The technology was made more widely available with a special Food and Drug Administration designation. (Read the Cancer Prevention Science blog)


Illustration of the female reproductive system.

June: SOROCk Trial Seeks to Compare Surgical Approaches in Women at Risk for Ovarian Cancer

A large nationwide clinical trial, Salpingo-Oophorectomy to Reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer (SOROCk), launches. The study is examining whether removal of the fallopian tubes prevents ovarian cancer in high-risk, premenopausal women as effectively as the standard of care, removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries. (Read the Cancer Prevention Science blog.)


An box of Naproxen with some tablets on a table.

July: Study with Common Pain Drug Shows Change in Immune Biomarkers, Highlights Pathway for Prevention of Colorectal Cancer in People with Lynch Syndrome

A phase I clinical trial finds that naproxen, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug, activates immune system cells in the innermost layer of the colon in patients with Lynch syndrome. The results suggest that naproxen may be used to prevent colorectal cancer in high-risk individuals. Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez, M.D., Ph.D., is the principal investigator of the study. (Read the Cancer Prevention Science blog post and Champions and Changemakers Profile.)


Aspirin tablets.

August: Regular Aspirin Use May Increase Older People’s Risk of Dying from Cancer

New findings from a randomized clinical trial, ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE), show that older adults who took low-dose aspirin daily had a greater likelihood of being diagnosed with an advanced cancer and of dying from cancer. The results contrast with earlier studies, which observed benefits but mainly involved younger individuals. (Read the NCI Blog.)


Aspirin tablets.

January: Second Report Suggests No Benefit to Starting Aspirin Therapy for Cancer Prevention for Adults Aged 70 Years and Older

A pooled analysis of two large U.S. cohorts of health professionals found that starting regular aspirin at 70 years of age or older was not associated with a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer. In contrast, individuals who took daily aspirin for 5 or more years before age 70 years cut their colorectal cancer risk by as much as 20%. Andrew Chan, M.D., M.P.H., is the principal investigator of the study. (Read the Cancer Prevention Science blog and the Champion and Changemaker Profile.)


A thumbnail image of cannabis leaves, seeds, and oil.

December: Monograph Details Opportunities and Challenges in Cancer Research Involving Cannabis

A series of papers is published, providing an overview of presentations and discussions from the NCI Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Cancer Research Symposium. The meeting identified promising areas of future study, current barriers to conducting cancer cannabis research, and strategies to overcome difficulties. (Read the two Cancer Prevention Science blog posts.)