Rethinking cancer: Current challenges and opportunities in cancer research

Ross Cagan, Pablo Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Cancer therapeutics currently have the lowest clinical trial success rate of all major diseases. Partly as a result of the paucity of successful anti-cancer drugs, cancer will soon be the leading cause of mortality in developed countries. As a disease embedded in the fundamentals of our biology, cancer presents difficult challenges that would benefit from uniting experts from a broad cross-section of related and unrelated fields. Combining extant approaches with novel ones could help in tackling this challenging health problem, enabling the development of therapeutics to stop disease progression and prolong patient lives. This goal provided the inspiration for a recent workshop titled 'Rethinking Cancer', which brought together a group of cancer scientists who work in the academic and pharmaceutical sectors of Europe, America and Asia. In this Editorial, we discuss the main themes emerging from the workshop, with the aim of providing a snapshot of key challenges faced by the cancer research community today. We also outline potential strategies for addressing some of these challenges, from understanding the basic evolution of cancer and improving its early detection to streamlining the thorny process of moving promising drug targets into clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-352
Number of pages4
JournalDMM Disease Models and Mechanisms
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017


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