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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Last Updated: 10/24/13

The Mission of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP)

The mission of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) is to improve the lives of cancer patients by finding better ways to treat, control and cure cancer. CTEP accomplishes this mission by funding an extensive national program of cancer research and by sponsoring clinical trials to evaluate new anti-cancer agents, with a particular emphasis on translational research to elucidate molecular targets and mechanisms of drug effects.

CTEP uses a scientific process to accomplish its mission:

  • promising basic science findings are identified and translated into clinical research, both by identifying new agents for evaluation and by identifying biologic characteristics of tumors that may be clinically exploited.
  • novel anti-cancer agents with distinctive molecular targets, mechanisms of action, or properties are identified and introduced into clinical trials, with prioritization of agents based on scientific criteria and therapeutic needs.
  • the anti-tumor activity of new anti-cancer agents is systematically evaluated in clinical trials.
  • promising new cancer treatments are rigorously compared to best available treatments in hypothesis-driven clinical trials to reliably define superior treatments for specific types of cancer

CTEP attempts to forge broad collaborations within the research community and works extensively with the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry to effectively develop new cancer treatments. CTEP also seeks to involve outside experts and patients or their advocates in the formulation of research priorities. In the selection of clinical research for NCI sponsorship, CTEP attempts to fill critical gaps in the national cancer research effort and to avoid duplication of ongoing private sector efforts. In further efforts to control cancer, active new anticancer agents are made available as rapidly and widely as possible for patients.