About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • The Drug Development Paradigm in Oncology: Proceedings ... Released: July 24, 2017
    Advances in cancer research have led to an improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning the development of cancer and how the immune system responds to cancer. This influx of research has led to an increasing number and variety of cancer therapies in the drug development pipeline. Compared with standard chemotherapies, these new cancer therapies may demonstrate evidence of benefit at an earlier stage of development.
  • Cancer Care in Low-Resource Areas: Cancer Treatment ... Released: May 23, 2017
    Though cancer was once considered to be a problem primarily in wealthy nations, low- and middle-income countries now bear a majority share of the global cancer burden. Disparities in cancer outcomes also exist in high-income countries—communities within wealthier nations can experience worse cancer outcomes, especially if they have challenges in accessing cancer prevention and cancer care services.
  • Implementation of Lung Cancer Screening: Proceedings of a ... Released: November 17, 2016
    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States; each year, more people die from lung cancer than from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. There has been a push to develop and implement screening strategies for the early detection of lung cancer. The National Lung Screening Trial evaluated the effectiveness of annual screening with low-dose computed tomography to reduce lung cancer mortality among individuals at high risk.
  • Policy Issues in the Clinical Development and Use of ... Released: July 19, 2016
    To examine challenges in the development and implementation of immunotherapies into clinical practice and explore strategies to overcome them, the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held the workshop “Policy Issues in the Clinical Development and Use of Immunotherapy for Cancer” on February 29 and March 1, 2016, in Washington, DC.
  • Cancer Care in Low-Resource Areas: Cancer Prevention and ... Released: March 10, 2016
    Effective low-cost cancer control options are available for some malignancies, but these interventions remain inaccessible for many people in the world, especially those residing in low-resource communities. Disparities in cancer outcomes can also be found in high-income countries—communities within wealthier nations especially if they have challenges accessing cancer prevention and cancer care services.
  • Appropriate Use of Advanced Technologies for Radiation ... Released: December 23, 2015
    In recent years, the field of oncology has witnessed a number of technological advances, including more precise radiation therapy and minimally invasive surgical techniques. The increased cost of these novel treatments without adequate assessment of how they affect patient outcomes is a pressing concern given that inappropriate use of expensive technologies is one of the key factors that threaten the affordability of cancer care in the United States.
  • The Role of Clinical Studies for Pets with Naturally Occurring ... Released: October 30, 2015
    Recently, there has been renewed interest in comparative oncology— the study of naturally developing cancers in animals as models for human disease—as one way to improve cancer drug development and reduce attrition of investigational agents. Tumors that spontaneously develop in pet dogs and other companion animals as a result of normal aging share many characteristics with human cancers, such as histological appearance, tumor genetics, biological behavior, molecular targets, and therapeutic response.
  • Assessing and Improving the Interpretation of Breast Images ... Released: September 24, 2015
    Since 2005, a substantial new body of research pertaining to mammography interpretation has been published. To explore this evidence and its policy implications, the IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum, with support from the American Cancer Society (ACS), brought together experts and members of the public for the workshop, “Assessing and Improving the Interpretation of Breast Images,” which was held on May 12 and 13, 2015, in Washington, DC. At this workshop, clinicians and researchers, along with representatives from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and patient advocacy organizations, discussed potential options for action to improve the quality of mammography interpretation.
  • Comprehensive Cancer Care for Children and Families ... Released: July 20, 2015
    To examine specific opportunities and suggestions for driving optimal care delivery supporting survival with high quality of life, the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the American Cancer Society co-hosted a workshop on “Comprehensive Cancer Care for Children and Their Families,” which convened experts and members of the public on March 9 and 10, 2015, in Washington, DC.
  • Policy Issues in the Development and Adoption of Biomarkers ... Released: April 02, 2015
    A long-held goal in oncology has been to develop therapies that target the specific abnormalities in each patient’s cancer rather than simply treating cancers based on the tissue of origin. In the past decade, advances in technology have enabled researchers to relatively quickly and inexpensively determine, in minute detail, the genetic makeup of tumors.However, many challenges remain in effectively and efficiently developing new targeted cancer therapies and the biomarker tests that indicate which patients will be responsive to them, and in implementing them appropriately in clinical practice. These challenges include many policy issues, such as the level of oversight needed for test development and use, levels of evidence necessary for reimbursement decisions, and ways to meet informational needs of patients and care providers.