Contributions from outside the field of cancer biology are the cornerstone of the Physical Sciences in Oncology initiative. In order to gather ideas and suggestions from the research community about the latest science and new opportunities, the NCI organizes Workshops and Think Tanks that bring together thought leaders from the fields of cancer biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, modeling, engineering, and nanotechnology.
A series of seminal meetings held in 2008 led to the concepts that form the basis of the Physical Sciences in Oncology initiative. Subsequent meetings have focused on topics such as Evolutionary Biology, Developmental Biology, an assessment of physical sciences and cancer research in Europe, as well as a Think Tank held in 2012 to evaluate the impact and future directions of the PS-OC program.
The NCI has also conducted an international Assessment of PHysical sciences and Engineering advances in LIfe sciences and ONcology (APHELION), in conjunction with the NSF and an expert panel. The findings of the APHELION study report provide a comprehensive, peer-reviewed set of evaluations of physical sciences-oncology research overseas in comparison to research being conducted in the United States.