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The NCI Physical Sciences in Oncology Initiative facilitates the development of innovative ideas and new fields of study that converge perspectives and approaches of physical sciences and engineering with cancer biology and clinical oncology. This initiative supports research that (1) originates and tests novel, non-traditional physical-sciences and engineering based approaches to understanding and controlling cancer; (2) generates orthogonal sets of physical measurements and integrates them with existing knowledge of cancer; and (3) develops and evaluates theoretical physical sciences and engineering approaches to provide a comprehensive and dynamic picture of cancer. By fostering a culture that encourages different perspectives and serving as a nexus for the development and implementation of physical science-based programs such as the Physical Sciences-Oncology Network Program, we support and nurture new trans-disciplinary environments which lead to better understanding of the physical laws and principles that shape and govern the emergence of cancer and its behavior at all scales as well as exponential progress against cancer.

For more information about the program, please visit the Physical Sciences-Oncology Program website.

The Integrative Cancer Biology Program (ICBP) focuses on the analysis of cancer as a complex biological system.  A cornerstone of the program is the development and implementation of computational models of processes relevant to cancer prevention, diagnostics and therapeutics.  The integration of experimental biology with mathematical modeling will result in new insights in the biology and new approaches to the management of cancer.  The program brings clinical and basic cancer researchers together with researchers from mathematics, physics, information technology, imaging sciences, and computer science to work on key questions in cancer biology.

For more information about this program, please visit the ICBP website.

The Tumor Microenvironment Network (TMEN) initiative focuses on expanding our understanding of the role of the tumor microenvironment in cancer initiation, progression and metastases. Through this initiative, NCI intends to generate a more comprehensive understanding of  the composition of the stroma in normal tissues, with the goal of delineating the mechanisms of tumor-stromal interactions in human cancer.

For more information about this program, please visit the TMEN website.

The Barrett’s Esophagus Translational Research Network (BETRNet) program is a trans-divisional NCI program that is supported by the Division of Cancer Biology and the Division of Cancer Prevention.  The objectives of BETRNet are to achieve a better understanding of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) biology, examine research opportunities associated with it’s only accepted precursor lesion Barrett’s Esophagus, improve EA risk stratification and prediction, and provide strategies for EA prevention.  The overriding goal is to decrease the incidence, morbidity and mortality of one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States.