In the summer of 2022, I learned about the opportunity to become the next Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Research. My decision to apply was immediate; at that point in my career, I was looking for new challenges within the realm of academia. I could not imagine a greater honor than the opportunity to assume responsibility of this historic journal. Over its 82 years as the flagship journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), scholarly works that have advanced our understanding of how cancer forms, metastasizes, and resists treatment have been published. Each study has also brought us closer to curing this disease, as intended by the 11 founding members of the AACR.

The pace and scale of scientific discovery has increased dramatically over the journal's lifetime. Over the past decades, deep mechanistic studies paved the way for a better understanding of cancer cells in vitro, heralding an era of genetically engineered animal models to determine phenotypes associated with specific genetic alterations. Reconciling these observations with human tissues opened the door to translational research, which was spurred on by the development of next-generation sequencing technologies that increased the throughput of studying the cancer genome and epigenome exponentially. Consortia such as The Cancer Genome Atlas not only began to identify subtypes of primary tumors that develop within an organ site but also paved the way for bioinformatic and computational methods to manage these complex datasets. Currently the Human Tumor Atlas Network aims to build single cell atlases of primary tumors and metastases across multiple tumor types. Team science has become the norm given the expansive scope and types of skillsets required to tackle questions of importance.

Inspired by all of this progress, my goal for Cancer Research will be to facilitate collaborations across fields and publish the next set of major advances in cancer biology. As Editor-in-Chief, I intend to take bold steps to establish Cancer Research as a journal that will drive the field forward in novel ways. At its core, Cancer Research will continue to focus on basic science, with appeal to a broad audience. It is of utmost importance to foster research that aims to make fundamental scientific discoveries, which can lead to unforeseen clinical advances.

In addition to the changes in the scale of scientific discovery, entirely new areas of investigation have been recently forged. I plan to adapt the journal sections to reflect the current state of the field and key areas of research. For example, the KRAS oncogene was once considered undruggable but now has several targeted therapies in development or under evaluation in clinical trials. Advances in therapeutic targeting and drug discovery will be published in the new Therapeutic Development and Chemical Biology section. Immunotherapy for cancer has transitioned from a treatment with mere potential to a credible opportunity for cure thanks to the discovery of checkpoint inhibitors and bioengineered chimeric antigen receptor T cells. In recognition of the importance of immunologic investigations, papers primarily focused on the immune system will now be published within a dedicated section termed Cancer Immunology. Desmoplasia, the long recognized stromal response to an invasive tumor, is of intense interest in light of the recent understanding that it is a dynamic system comprised of heterocellular elements that modulate cancer cell behavior. The newly envisioned Cancer Biology section will place greater emphasis on the cancer cell and tumor-associated microenvironment. Multiple subtypes of RNA are now recognized. Moreover, mRNA itself has been found to undergo methylation that influences pre-RNA processing, translation, and metabolism. Noncoding DNA, once considered the “junk of the genome,” is now known to contain innumerable conserved sequences, modifications, and motifs that contribute to gene expression and themselves represent potential therapeutic targets. The section termed Cancer Metabolism and Molecular Mechanisms will feature studies focused on unraveling the mechanistic underpinnings of cancer. Additionally, the massive repositories of data generated in the process of scientific discovery have spurred the use of artificial intelligence as a tool for understanding cancer complexity on levels heretofore not appreciated. The Computational Cancer Biology and Technology section will highlight studies using computational sciences and systems biology and reporting technological developments to provide new insights into cancer.

Comprehensive characterizations of cancer using -omics analyses have led to a much greater understanding of various aspects of cancer, including heterogeneity, evolution, and response to therapy. Studies generating and analyzing large scale -omic, such as genomic, epigenomic, single-cell sequencing, and spatial transcriptomic datasets, will all be included under the newly titled Cancer Landscapes section. While the journal will predominantly focus on basic science, we nonetheless remain interested in studies with a human component that uncover novel aspects of cancer biology or provide new approaches for detecting, categorizing, and treating cancer. For this reason, I have created a section entitled Translational Cancer Biology that will include high quality manuscripts related to preclinical research, clinical imaging, population and prevention science, and human and animal models, among other topics.

The final major research article section of Cancer Research will be entitled Convergence Science. The rationale for this section is that cancer research as an entity has become expansive to the extent that thought leaders are often siloed from each other. Many major discoveries are yet to be made where different areas of cancer research intersect. Convergence Science will therefore represent the capstone section of the journal and how Cancer Research will assert its importance as a source of cancer research literature. Studies deemed by myself and the editorial team as exemplars of convergent science research will be highlighted within the issues they are published in with an accompanying editorial by an expert in the field. As a final mode of promoting convergent science, I anticipate starting a novel series of short, invited opinion pieces that will be cowritten by two established leaders from entirely different fields to identify gaps in knowledge or reconcile disparate points of view.

I am strongly committed to establishing Cancer Research as a journal that investigators aspire to publish in. Towards this goal, I have reassembled the Senior Editorial Board to expand upon its collective expertise to best evaluate scientific discoveries and emerging research paradigms. Many of the Senior Editorial Board members have graciously agreed to continue on in their roles under my leadership, and many new Senior Editors will be joining that will bring fresh perspectives and experience representative of our current understanding and technological capabilities in the field. I have also appointed a new Deputy Editor for Reviews who I will work with closely to identify topics of timely interest to the research community at large that would benefit from an expert summary and discussion to help move the field forward. The multidisciplinary editorial team of scientists and clinicians with expertise in molecular and cell biology, immunology, genomics and epigenomics, metabolism, chemical biology, disease modeling, virology, imaging, and bioinformatics will be instrumental in helping realize my vision for the journal.

To conclude, I am grateful to the Editor-in-Chief emeritus Chi Van Dang and the editorial board that served under him for their years of service and hard work on behalf of Cancer Research. My hope is to build on their work and the journal's long legacy to continue to attract high-quality manuscripts that will drive the field forward while raising the impact and prestige of this remarkable journal that has long played a central role in finding a cure for cancer.

No disclosures were reported.