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What Does an Oncology Researcher Do? Roles and Responsibilities

Hundreds of thousands of people in the US and other countries worldwide live with cancer. Cancer is a disease where cells in the body grow uncontrollably. It can start almost anywhere in the body, and if not caught early, it can lead to death. 

Fortunately, most types of cancer are treatable. This is thanks to treatments and cures found through cancer research. If you want to find out more about this and what the roles and responsibilities of an oncology researcher are, keep reading below: 

The Importance of Cancer Research

Cancer research is crucial to improve the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancers and ensure survivors live longer and better quality lives. 

What is an Oncology Researcher?

Clinical cancer or oncology researchers are medical scientists who help us to accumulate knowledge about different types of cancer. They look into the biological processes of cancer involved in cancer onset, growth, and spread in the body. Their discoveries help us create more effective targeted treatments for cancer patients. 

What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of an Oncology Researcher? 

Here are some examples of the roles and responsibilities of an oncology researcher: 

  • Manage mouse colonies – oncology researchers breed, wean, and genotype mice in their vivarium facility.
  • Analyze DNA, RNA, and the use of RT-PCR.
  • Collect data through questionnaires and interviews.
  • Enter, code and analyze data they have collected.
  • Read scientific literature.
  • Write and submit applications and progress reports.
  • Constantly consider the profit/loss potential of research products.
  • Follow HIPAA regulations and complete clerical duties in accordance with this. 
  • Design and inscribe genotyping protocols for novel studies.
  • Bill workers’ compensation, HMO, no-fault, Medicaid, and Medicare.
  • Teach and supervise students (in some higher education roles).

What Qualifications Are Required to Become an Oncology Researcher?

To become an oncology researcher, you typically need an honors degree in a life or medical science. This includes subjects like biochemistry, genetics, biomedical sciences, immunology, and physiology. However, starting a career as an oncology researcher is possible if you have a degree in physics, chemistry, or statistics. Many research companies now accept candidates who have these qualifications. 

What Recent Breakthroughs Have Oncology Researchers Made?

Over the last few years, we have seen multiple breakthroughs in cancer research. One research breakthrough, which was led by scientists in Spain, found a new way to spot if someone is at higher risk of pancreatic cancer. This research can also be used to diagnose patients in the early stages of the disease

Another research breakthrough occurred in Germany, where scientists discovered they could prevent the spread of head and neck cancers by stopping them from getting the energy they need to do so. 

Cancer researchers play a crucial role in our society. The role of a cancer researcher is to find cures and treatments for all kinds of cancer. If you like the idea of helping to find cures for this deadly disease, why not learn more about how to get started in this role?