The process of developing cancer treatments, diagnostics and interventions can easily take 15 years or more:
* Ideas turn into lab experiments
* Lab experiments are moved to animals
* â€¦ and then to early research with people
* Good results mean large late-phase trials with large numbers of participants
The jump from lab experiments to large clinical trials is called TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH â€“and without translational research, promising ideas may be stuck in labs and test tubes instead of moving to patients.
NCIâ€™s SPORE program [Specialized Programs of Research Excellence](http://spores.nci.nih.gov/index.html) funds translational research. SPORE research has resulted in 210 clinical interventions for patients in the last 13 years, a remarkable record.
The SPORE program is being reviewed by NCI, and significant changes are proposed. There is concern about the changes in many quarters, [including Congress](http://www.c-three.org/pdf/lettertohhs.pdf) and [SPORE advocates](http://www.sporeadvocates.net/content/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=78&Itemid=2).
C3 urges NCI to be sure that changes are made thoughtfully in the context of scientific merit. [You can send the same message by asking your Congressional member to sign onto the Shaw-Harman letter before October 9. Click here to take action!](http://www.kintera.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=cgKJLROyEpH&b=437949)