Provocative questions in cancer research

The National Cancer Institute recently launched the Provocative Questions web site to “assemble a list of important but non-obvious questions that will stimulate the NCI’s research communities to use laboratory, clinical, and population sciences in especially effective and imaginative ways.”  Once you register, you can “submit an original question, comment upon an existing question, rank a question, or comment upon an existing comment.”  Here are the questions that have been submitted and posted on the site:

  • Why are some disseminated cancers cured by chemotherapy alone?
  • Are there definable properties of non-malignant lesions that predict the likelihood of progression to invasive disease?
  • Why do many cancer cells die when suddenly deprived of a protein encoded by an oncogene?
  • What molecular mechanism(s) are responsible for the well-documented association of obesity with certain types of cancer?
  • How can we harness new technologies to inhibit traditionally “undruggable” target proteins, such as transcription factors, that are required for cancer cell viability?

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