About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Biomarker Tests for Molecularly Targeted Therapies: Key to ... Released: March 04, 2016
    Every patient is unique, and the evolving field of precision medicine aims to ensure that the right treatment is delivered to the right patient at the right time. To achieve this, health care providers are increasingly turning to advanced technologies known as biomarker tests for molecularly targeted therapies.
  • Ovarian Cancers: Evolving Paradigms in Research and Care ... Released: March 02, 2016
    Although recent years have seen promising advances in cancer research, there remain surprising gaps in the fundamental knowledge about and understanding of ovarian cancer, including basic biology, risk factors, diagnosis, delivery of care, and survivorship
  • Accounting for Social Risk Factors in Medicare Payment ... Released: January 12, 2016
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, acting through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, has asked the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to convene an ad hoc committee to identify social risk factors that affect the health outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries and methods to account for these factors in Medicare payment programs. The committee’s work will be conducted in phases and will produce five brief consensus reports.
  • Appropriate Use of Advanced Technologies for Radiation ... Released: December 23, 2015
    In recent years, the field of oncology has witnessed a number of technological advances, including more precise radiation therapy and minimally invasive surgical techniques. The increased cost of these novel treatments without adequate assessment of how they affect patient outcomes is a pressing concern given that inappropriate use of expensive technologies is one of the key factors that threaten the affordability of cancer care in the United States.
  • The Role of Clinical Studies for Pets with Naturally Occurring ... Released: October 30, 2015
    Recently, there has been renewed interest in comparative oncology— the study of naturally developing cancers in animals as models for human disease—as one way to improve cancer drug development and reduce attrition of investigational agents. Tumors that spontaneously develop in pet dogs and other companion animals as a result of normal aging share many characteristics with human cancers, such as histological appearance, tumor genetics, biological behavior, molecular targets, and therapeutic response.
  • Assessing and Improving the Interpretation of Breast Images ... Released: September 24, 2015
    Since 2005, a substantial new body of research pertaining to mammography interpretation has been published. To explore this evidence and its policy implications, the IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum, with support from the American Cancer Society (ACS), brought together experts and members of the public for the workshop, “Assessing and Improving the Interpretation of Breast Images,” which was held on May 12 and 13, 2015, in Washington, DC. At this workshop, clinicians and researchers, along with representatives from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and patient advocacy organizations, discussed potential options for action to improve the quality of mammography interpretation.
  • Improving Diagnosis in Health Care : Health and Medicine ... Released: September 22, 2015
    Urgent change is warranted to address this challenge. Improving diagnosis will require collaboration and a widespread commitment to change among health care professionals, health care organizations, patients and their families, researchers, and policy makers. The recommendations from Improving Diagnosis in Health Care contribute to the growing momentum for change in this crucial area of health care quality and safety.
  • Improving Diagnosis in Health Care : Health and Medicine ... Released: September 22, 2015
    Urgent change is warranted to address this challenge. Improving diagnosis will require collaboration and a widespread commitment to change among health care professionals, health care organizations, patients and their families, researchers, and policy makers. The recommendations from Improving Diagnosis in Health Care contribute to the growing momentum for change in this crucial area of health care quality and safety.
  • Comprehensive Cancer Care for Children and Families ... Released: July 20, 2015
    To examine specific opportunities and suggestions for driving optimal care delivery supporting survival with high quality of life, the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the American Cancer Society co-hosted a workshop on “Comprehensive Cancer Care for Children and Their Families,” which convened experts and members of the public on March 9 and 10, 2015, in Washington, DC.
  • Policy Issues in the Development and Adoption of Biomarkers ... Released: April 02, 2015
    A long-held goal in oncology has been to develop therapies that target the specific abnormalities in each patient’s cancer rather than simply treating cancers based on the tissue of origin. In the past decade, advances in technology have enabled researchers to relatively quickly and inexpensively determine, in minute detail, the genetic makeup of tumors.However, many challenges remain in effectively and efficiently developing new targeted cancer therapies and the biomarker tests that indicate which patients will be responsive to them, and in implementing them appropriately in clinical practice. These challenges include many policy issues, such as the level of oversight needed for test development and use, levels of evidence necessary for reimbursement decisions, and ways to meet informational needs of patients and care providers.