6. Interface with Other Nanotechnology Efforts
The emphasis of the NCL on the many facets of cancer research enables it to serve as a nexus for transdisciplinary research, development, and clinical applications of nanotechnology. The NCL intends to provide resources, knowledge, tools and methods for cancer researchers. It does not seek to duplicate the efforts of established and emerging programs by academia, industry or government programs in nanotechnology or to intrude on the domain of other programs. Rather, it seeks to partner with these programs. To this end, the NCL will collaborate wherever possible with other government agencies, academia, and industry to leverage their resources and expertise in pursuit of common goals and to accelerate the use of nanotechnology in critical national applications to cancer.
Substantial government and private investments have been made and continue to be made in nanoscience and nanotechnology:
The lack of knowledge concerning the health and safety of nanomaterials may also become an obstacle to rapid implementation of nanotechnology. Although industry has long manufactured fine and ultrafine (i.e., nanoscale) particles for use in a variety of applications, the effect of those particles on human health has been studied for only a small number of materials and applications. In addition, the waste streams generated by the manufacturing and assembly processes for nanomaterials and by their disposal have generally not been subjected to detailed examination and analysis. The analytical cascades developed by the NCL can provide a preliminary measure of the effects of these materials, devices, and waste products on human safety - especially those effects related to the acute toxicological properties of nanotechnology. Elucidating the environmental and health effects and implications of nanotechnology is far beyond the scope and resources of the NCL, however. Such an effort will require national collaboration between nanotechnology research institutions, developers and product manufacturers to formulate the appropriate assays and protocols to address this public need.
A Service of the National Cancer Institute