Other Exceptional Opportunities

Cancer Research Ideas - Other Exceptional Opportunities (Archived)

Not sure where to enter your idea? Use this space for other ideas you may have that could provide exceptional opportunity for progress, including ways to improve the cancer research process, encourage collaborations, and achieve other goals important to advancing progress against cancer.

The submission period for Other Exceptional Opportunities ideas ended on July 1. However, we encourage you to sign up for regular e-mail updates about the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative at the Cancer Moonshot Milestones web page.

Other Exceptional Opportunities

BRING (PURE) SCIENCE BACK TO CANCER RESEARCH

Breakthroughs happen at the level of pure science (=theory) but cancer research has degenerated into an entrepreneurial frenzy of technology-driven data collection. Pairing this expensive activity with inexpensive theory could boost progress.

Submitted by (@cancrumvincemus)

What is the research problem :

From its programs it seems as if the NCI believes that technology, data, data-sharing and data analytics suffice to bring new insights. But enamored with technology & data, we have abnegated theory which is indispensable to give meaning to data.

How will your solution make a difference :

Theory based on first principles (not 'modeling') is cheap and by exposing the formal limits of cell killing could even improve therapy. Theory could catalyze entire fields of research, bringing meaning to the data that we collect in blind frenzy.

What is your proposed solution :

Without theory in biology we would still collect specimen and build taxonomy but not understand evolution. In cancer research we eschew theory. The relentless progression of tumors demands an unifying theory. (Modeling is not theory, just mathematized phenomenology). The NCI needs the courage to promote theory without crying 'experimental validation' in the same breath. This is simple. And theory is inexpensive and can be invaluable.

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Study Spontaneous Cancers in Companion Animals as Models

Dogs naturally get cancer - >1million per year diagnosed and treated.Old, young,various genetics,share our environment and suffer complications and side-effects of treatment. Dogs represent an authentic model of human cancer and have similar biology.

Submitted by (@wshelton.dvm)

What is the research problem :

Lab rodents do not represent humans - varied genetics, age, and co-morbidities, often failing to predict treatment success and costing time and money via misdirection. Rare/pediatric cancers lack population numbers for trials.

How will your solution make a difference :

Case study: recent work in a new brain cancer drug suggests savings of 5 years and millions of dollars since biodistribution, safety, starting dose, and patient selection were all de-risked in dogs with brain tumors in the course of a single year.

What is your proposed solution :

Enroll more companion animals in clinical trials with cancers that parallel human disease, invest in the sequencing of spontaneous animal cancers to comprehend the similarities and differences - already many identical pathways have been identified. Some rare/pediatric cancers occur plentifully in the dog population and offer resource for study options.

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Other Exceptional Opportunities

Cell towers cause cancer within 400 meters

There is a lot of research outside of the United States that suggests that cell towers can cause cancer and other illnesses for the people who live close to them.

Submitted by (@djaworski)

What is the research problem :

Cell towers may cause cancer for people who live within 400 meters of them.

How will your solution make a difference :

This will reduce the cancer clusters that occur near cell towers. This will result in healthier people and reduce the impact that cancer has on the health system and the people who are impacted by the diagnosis.

What is your proposed solution :

To stop cell towers from being built near residential areas, schools, and hospitals.

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Can cancerincidence be reduced by optimizing D-vitamin-levels?

I have heard that there is a correlation between life-expectancy and levels of D-vitamin. Is there a correlation between D-vitamin and cancer? Are certain types of cancer more rare among people that has optimal levels of D-vitamin?

Submitted by (@swedish.physician)

What is the research problem :

I don´t know enough about details concerning D-vitamin´s effects in the body and on cancer specifically. I have heard that D-vitamin helps protect against infection and that people that has low or high D-vitamin levels in general live shorter lifes.

How will your solution make a difference :

If there is a correelation between levels of D-vitamin and cancer the D-vitamin levels should be monitored and D-vitamin supplementation given to those who need it. Hopefully this has some effect on cancerincidens.

What is your proposed solution :

Study if there is a correlation between cancer and D-vitamin levels. Which people benefit from getting D-vitamin supplementation in the USA? All Children up to 2 years of age should get D-vitamin supplementation,, people with dark skin probably need supplementation regardless of the age if they live in North America.

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Can tattooes cause cancer?

I have heard that color/tattoo pigment can be seen in the bonemarrow if a person recently has made a tattoo. What are the consequenses of this on cells in the bonemarrow, lymfnodes, spleen, liver and in the skin/dermis?

Submitted by (@swedish.physician)

What is the research problem :

Tattoos are common but not enough is known about their effects in the human body, particularly in the skin, lymfnode, spleen, bonemarrow and liver. Do tattoos cause cancer?

How will your solution make a difference :

Increased knowledge about sideffects of tattoos could lead to better information to the public and hopefully a lower incidense of cancer.

What is your proposed solution :

More epidemiological, big data, studies should be done to see if there is any relationship between prevalence of tattoos and cancer in for example bonemarrow/lymfnode/hematologic cancer and skincancer. I guess that a relationship between tattoos and cancer can be seen.

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Web-based Platform for Collaborative Research on Treating Cancer

Treating cancer calls for a critical balance between the efficacy of the drugs and their side effects from toxicity, which is patient-specific. Implementing requires quantitative understanding through mathematical models of patient background.

Submitted by (@ramkrish)

What is the research problem :

Employ quantitative understanding of phenotypic behavior of cancer patients to negotiate treatment efficacy with control of toxicity by rational adjustment of drug dosage. This involves collaboration between engineers and clinicians.

How will your solution make a difference :

Because of the dire necessity for teamwork among engineers, bioscientists, clinicians and mathematicians, the proposed web base create a vibrant atmosphere of collaboration leading to the rapid progress that is needed in this area.

What is your proposed solution :

Create a web based platform with information on research groups working on a particular drug/disease to facilitate active collaboration between computational and experimental research groups. This platform must include clinical data badly needed for extracting patient specific parameters from models that combine traditional PK-PD models with understanding of cellular metabolism. This work will lead to usable Apps for clinical practice.

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Distress Screening and Follow up Care in Clinical Trials

To help ensure the highest level of care is provided, and to further reduce cost, CSC requests that the NCI make an investment to research psychosocial and behavioral health components affecting cancer patients.

Submitted by (@csc2016)

What is the research problem :

Despite data showing improved patient outcomes and reduced cost, cancer patients are not guaranteed distress screening and follow up care when enrolled in a clinical trial. Leading to inefficiencies and low retention rates.

How will your solution make a difference :

Patients have better health outcomes when screened and treated for distress. Routine distress screening and follow up care in clinical trials, will lead to more efficient use of clinical trial resources and have positive impact on patient outcomes.

What is your proposed solution :

We propose that the NIH screen patients for distress at the NIH Clinical Center and in all NCI-funded clinical trials, and direct the OHRP to develop guidance specific to addressing the psychosocial needs of patients in clinical trials research. Also, implementation of a pilot study funded by the NCI and NIH, to measure the impact of distress screening and follow up care, on health outcomes and clinical trial participation.

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Bridging innovation and clinical utility through foundational re

Over 80% of cancer clinical trials are null or negative despite promising preclinical results. We are rushing to the clinic without doing the due diligence of fine-tuning the treatment strategy preclinically,

Submitted by (@cror.mdanderson)

What is the research problem :

The lack of resources for essential validation studies with new agents is the primary culprit behind the high rate of null trials. The majority of new agents are tested in experimental conditions that are irrelevant to real-world clinical use.

How will your solution make a difference :

Establishment of a new preclinical testing paradigm would thin the herd of futile agents prior to trials thus saving money, resources, and patients from ineffective treatments.

What is your proposed solution :

To develop a new testing and validation preclinical paradigm that would allow for uniform evaluation of new agents within the context of the current clinical standard of care. By establishing a reliable set of experimental conditions that closely replicate up-to-date clinical treatments, we would weed out agents and technologies that are incompatible or ineffective in the clinical context prior to onset of clinical trials.

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Create Largest Open-Source, Open-Access Cancer Bio-Repository

80% of cancer patients are treated in community hospitals and clinics. We need a centralized open-source, open-access biorepository managed by brokers with no vested interests other than accelerating the search for cures to help patients today.

Submitted by (@bonnieaddario1)

What is the research problem :

One of the biggest roadblocks to advancing cancer research is access to bio-specimens and patient data. In our community hospitals there are specimens that are used for pathology and then discarded.

How will your solution make a difference :

Samples from the community will add statistical power to address questions on molecular subtypes of cancer as we move into the era of precision medicine. Making these bio- and data-repositories open-source & open-access will break down the silos.

What is your proposed solution :

80% of all cancer patients are treated in community hospitals and clinics —and tapping into them is critical. These specimens need to be in a centralized open-source, open-access biorepository managed by experienced brokers with the only goal advancing the state of science.This can host bio-specimens from all patients that are well annotated with clinical, pathologic, demographic and outcomes data, and will be a resource to anyone in the field.

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New cohorts to enable precision prevention for cancer

Current cohorts miss critical windows of exposure for understanding cancer development. New cohorts which cover the life course are needed to achieve precision cancer prevention.

Submitted by (@hhnelson)

What is the research problem :

Early life exposures, including infections, contribute to the future development of cancer. We lack knowledge and infrastructure to identify these relationships. Obtaining this information will be important to reduce the burden of cancer.

How will your solution make a difference :

New cohorts, with exposure and biospecimens collected in critical windows of risk, will provide needed information for precision cancer prevention.

What is your proposed solution :

New population-based cohorts are needed to identify these relationships so that appropriate interventions for the prevention of cancer can occur. This will include rigorous epidemiology, biobanking and links to cancer registries and electronic medical records. A design that capitalizes on family-based enrollment will provide efficiency in both the assessment of genetics, and understanding the connections between microbiome, immunity and cancer.

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Prevention of Negative Heatth Effects 0f Non-Ionizing Radiation

Independent science and the US NTP study have concluded that non-ionizing radiation is indeed causing cancer. Considering wireless radiation surrounds all Americans daily we must tackle this serious issue now with a prevention program.

Submitted by (@elliekroichickmarks)

What is the research problem :

We have solid evidence that non-ionizing radiation causes cancer and other serious illnesses (including damage to fetuses) and nothing is being done to prevent this. The public believes our government is protecting them and that is not the case.

How will your solution make a difference :

Government advisories concerning lowering exposure to non-ionizing radiation which is an enormous part in all of our lives will indeed help save lives. Children are most vulnerable and there is a long latency period for many of these cancers.

What is your proposed solution :

We do not want to eliminate this valuable technology. We want our government to properly oversee the FDA and FCC who are not working in the interest of the public. Measures must be taken now to properly advise the public as to safer ways to use their phones, to turn off wifi when not in use, to use Ethernet in schools, to opt our of smart meters and to keep cell towers away from homes and schools.

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