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Division of Cancer Biology

The Division of Cancer Biology (DCB) supports and facilitates basic research in all areas of cancer biology at academic institutions and research foundations across the United States and abroad.  As part of the National Cancer Institute, the Federal Government’s principal agency for cancer research and training, DCB provides funding for research that investigates the basic biology behind all occurrences of cancer.  While not often discussed at a Doctor’s office or in a patient setting, this research reveals the minute details of what happens biologically when cancer forms or does not form, when cancer cells are drug resistant or they respond positively to a new therapy, and when cancer spreads or a patient goes into remission.  Basic cancer biology provides the building blocks to new treatments, clinical trials and improved understanding of the disease.  Without the study of cancer biology, much of the progress made over the years in the search for a cure for cancer may never have occurred. 

In pursuit of the advancement of this crucial field, the mission of the DCB is to ensure continuity and stability in basic cancer research while encouraging and facilitating the emergence of new ideas, concepts, and technologies.  The grants that are funded each year investigate biological aspects of every form of cancer, from targeted, long-running studies that are revealing the microscopic details of cell processes, to high-risk yet scientifically sound, innovative research approaches that hold great promise for providing key insights into tumor development.  The Division also supports think-tanks and other meetings aimed at identifying crucial research areas that need additional funding, and works to expand new research areas by sponsoring a range of funding mechanisms and initiatives designed to enable research in the most promising areas. 

The six branches and 3 major NCI programs managed by the Division seek to advance basic cancer research through investigator-initiated research projects and programs.  The scientific discoveries from this research base are critical to the NCI and the future of cancer research since they form the scientific foundation on which strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatments for cancer are developed.

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