The establishment of the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship in 1986 and the National Cancer Institute - Office of Cancer Survivorship in 1996 have both increased the number of published cancer survivorship studies. Although the volume of cancer survivorship research has increased, more research is needed and a 2016 ASCO Survey identified the following research needs among cancer survivors:

  • Common cancers other than breast cancer
  • Older cancer survivors (aged over 65)
  • Long term survivors (> 5 years)
  • Interventional studies including younger age groups (<21)
  • Biological mechanisms and genetic factors related to recurrence and adverse effects
  • Patterns and quality of survivorship care

Furthermore, an analysis of the National Institutes of Health portfolio analysis for the fiscal year 2016, identified the following research needs among cancer survivors:

  • Different cancer sites
  • Greater ethnoculturally diverse samples
  • Older survivors (>65 years)
  • Longer-term (>5 years) survivors
  • Consider and address the effects of newer therapies

Additionally, the National Cancer Institute has supported cancer survivorship science for many years, yet few funded studies have examined the needs of individuals living with cancer that is advanced or has metastasized. The Current State of Funded National Institutes of Health Grants Focused on Individuals Living with Advanced and Metastatic Cancers: A Portfolio Analysis found the following gaps:

  • Longitudinal examination of unmet needs
  • Models of care delivery
  • Impact of innovative therapies
  • Impact of financial hardship for individuals living with advanced or metastatic cancer

The Canadian Cancer Research Alliance has published the Pan-Canadian Framework for Cancer Survivorship Research and specifically recommends:

  • Ensuring ongoing and meaningful involvement of cancer survivors and their family/friends/caregivers
  • Align funding calls with existing needs and potential for impact
  • Create opportunities for the translation of research into practice and policy
  • Build and maintain infrastructure and expertise to advance research

National Cancer Institute - Office of Cancer Survivorship