In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Cancer Act, Dr. Xavier Llor shares his motivation for pursing a career in cancer research:
What brought you to work in cancer research?
I wanted to study things that would have an impact in people’s lives. As I kept learning more about inherited cancers and caring for these patients, I felt there was an opportunity to study these, find better ways to diagnose them, and implement measures to prevent cancers and help them live better lives.
Where do you see the future of cancer research?
I am hoping that soon through gene therapy or other approaches, we will be able to fix these genetic alterations that predispose people to cancer.
What are some of the advances you have seen during your career?
Many: from understanding how genes work to how to better diagnose genetic defects and care for patients.
Why is it so important to encourage younger and diverse groups to pursue a career in cancer research?
Be sure you can make a difference in people’s lives. That can be accomplished in so many different ways: from discovering a mechanism that derails the cell machinery to better understanding and implementing actions that can tackle the disparities in patient care we experience in our society.
Advice that you would give to someone considering a career in cancer research?
Follow your passion, keep asking yourself why, and you will find a way to realize your greatest work.
Each individual in the oncology workforce has a unique and impactful story about why they work in cancer research. The National Cancer Institute invites you to share your story of what drives you to work in cancer research and has developed the hashtags #ThisIsWhy and #NothingWillStopUs. Together, let’s inspire the next generation of diverse talent to join us in the fight to end cancer as we know it!