Cancer, one of the most complex diseases we face today, is a challenge to study and treat. The once carefully ordered world of cancer diagnosis and treatment — breast cancer is one thing, lung cancer is another — has been upended by genetic analyses showing that there are many types of each cancer, and these types evolve differently, making it difficult to predict the progression of the disease and choose the optimal treatment for it.

While research can help improve both diagnosis and treatment, the proportion of people with cancer who participate in clinical trials is notoriously low: Of the estimated 1.7 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year, only about 5% of cancer patients are enrolled in clinical trials. Despite the numbers, cancer drug innovation is exploding — the FDA approved 19 new cancer drugs and biologics last year alone.

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