+ -Text Size

Definitions of Research Areas

Incorporating the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Research and Medical Grants, the American Cancer Society uses the following definitions:

Basic Research
Directed to understanding the events related to the development or prevention of cancer at the molecular, cellular, and organismic levels, as well as the discovery and development of new anticancer drugs or other anticancer therapies.

Preclinical (clinically relevant) Research
Aims primarily at providing results applicable to the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of human cancer or to the rehabilitation of the cancer patient but which are not yet ready for use in humans.

Epidemiology Research
Investigates the circumstances under which cancer occurs in populations, including the epidemiology of human behavior and lifestyle factors, as well as molecular epidemiology and gene-environment interactions.

Clinical Research
Utilizes human subjects or materials and has direct application to the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer in the individual or group of individuals under study, or the rehabilitation (including quality of life issues) of the patient.

Cancer Control Research
Investigates how scientifically obtained information can be efficiently and effectively applied to defined groups of people or at the community level to reduce the burden of cancer.

Psychosocial and Behavioral Cancer Research
Directed at understanding and improving the motivational factors in cancer prevention and screening, and the social and emotional impact of cancer and its treatment on individuals, their families, and their caregivers.

Health Services Research
Examines the interface of the health care system with patients, with the goal of improving access and reducing barriers to optimal health care.

Health Policy Outcomes Research
Examines the effects of public policy and laws on public health and access to care, and on reducing barriers to and disparities in health care.