The National Palliative Care Research Center

Curing suffering through palliative care research.

NCI launches the Provocative Questions website


The following message was sent by the director of the National Cancer Institute. The National Palliative Care Research Center is asking those in the palliative care community to visitthe website and submit important palliative care related questions.

Dear Colleagues,

The NCI recently launched the Provocative Questions website ( to engage the cancer research community in this important initiative. The project is intended to assemble a list of novel questions that will help guide the NCI and its scientific communities inefforts to control cancer through laboratory, clinical, and population sciences. The website allows individuals to submit questions, rank questions submitted by others, and participate in an onlinediscussion of the initiative.

Provocative Questions are inquiries addressed to important problems and paradoxes in cancer research considered to have received insufficient attention, for a variety of reasons. Some may bebuilt on older, neglected observations that have never been adequately explored; some on more recent findings that are perplexing; and some on problems traditionally thought to be intractable butnow might be vulnerable to attack with new methods. The questions are not intended to represent the full range of important questions that the NCI and its constituencies should be studying, butthey should draw attention to significant under-appreciated opportunities for advancing our understanding of cancer and developing new prospects for controlling it.

We encourage you to visit the website and participate in this community initiative.

Harold Varmus, MD
Director, National Cancer Institute