Genes & Cancer

Origins of cancer: tackling provocative questions

Abigail R. Solitro1,* and Nicole A. Vander Schaaf2,*

1 Center for Cancer and Cell Biology, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

2 Center for Epigenetics, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Nicole A. Vander Schaaf, email:

Keywords: cancer, provocative questions initiative, microbiome, immunotherapy, biomarkers

Received: September 08, 2017 Accepted: September 08, 2017 Published: September 14, 2017


Despite the tremendous progress that scientists have made throughout the history of cancer research, there are still far too many deaths and remaining scientific questions for us to be content with our current knowledge of the disease. The eighth Origins of Cancer symposium, held July 21, 2017 at Van Andel Research Institute, was organized around the theme of “Tackling Provocative Questions” to stimulate discussion of several of these unresolved paradoxes in the field of cancer research. The symposium highlighted recent progress from the National Cancer Institute’s Provocative Questions Initiative, a program that offers research support to scientists who propose innovative strategies to address one of the featured questions. Accordingly, each of our eight distinguished speakers had received funding through this Initiative or performs research that closely aligns with one of these important yet understudied questions. From microbes to biomarkers to immunotherapy, this meeting report describes the latest advancements that were presented at the symposium.

PII: 150