The future of cancer research

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Find out what type of studies are being done around the world to improve treatments and therapies for cancer, including research on cancer in teens.

Key points

  • Research is always happening to better understand cancer and improve the treatment and care of adults, teens and children who have cancer.
  • Future research for teens may focus on finding ways to diagnose cancer earlier, how cancer affects biology and identifying psychological and social supports for teens during cancer treatment.

Cancer research is always changing and growing as new discoveries are made in cancer treatment and care.

What is the latest research on cancer?

There are many different research studies happening around the world to improve the treatment and care of people with cancer. This research includes studies designed to:

  • provide a better understanding of the changes within cells that can lead to cancer
  • develop better tests for diagnosis
  • develop new drugs that better target cancer cells and have fewer side effects and late effects
  • test the treatments that help the body’s own immune system fight cancer cells
  • improve radiation therapy
  • improve long-term follow-up care

What does the future hold for research on cancer in teens?

Traditionally, cancer research has focused on children and older adults. This is partly because cancer is rarer in teens and young adults. As a result, teens and young adults may be given treatments and care based on what works in different age groups. This is now changing, as there is growing awareness among cancer researchers that teens and young adults have unique health-care needs and responses to treatment.

In the last few years, Canadian cancer researchers have come together to look at ways to improve the health of teens and young adults with cancer. In the future, their research may focus on:

  • finding ways to diagnose cancer in teens and young adults earlier
  • how cancer affects the biology of a teen’s developing body
  • finding treatments that work best in teens and young adults
  • identifying the psychological and social supports that teens and young adults need during cancer and treatment
  • improving long-term follow-up care for teens and young adults
  • improving the health of teen and young adult cancer survivors
Last updated: September 3rd 2019