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J Cancer Educ. 2012 May;27(2 Suppl):S128-35. doi: 10.1007/s13187-012-0328-1.

The future workforce in cancer prevention: advancing discovery, research, and technology.

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Department of Radiation Physics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Unit 1202, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, USA.


As part of a 2-day conference on October 15 and 16, 2009, a nine-member task force composed of scientists, clinicians, educators, administrators, and students from across the USA was formed to discuss research, discovery, and technology obstacles to progress in cancer prevention and control, specifically those related to the cancer prevention workforce. This article summarizes the task force's findings on the current state of the cancer prevention workforce in this area and its needs for the future. The task force identified two types of barriers impeding the current cancer prevention workforce in research, discovery, and technology from reaching its fullest potential: (1) limited cross-disciplinary research opportunities with underutilization of some disciplines is hampering discovery and research in cancer prevention, and (2) new research avenues are not being investigated because technology development and implementation are lagging. Examples of impediments and desired outcomes are provided in each of these areas. Recommended solutions to these problems are based on the goals of enhancing the current cancer prevention workforce and accelerating the pace of discovery and clinical translation.

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