I have not failed 10 000 times. I have successfully found 10 000 ways that will not work.
Thomas Edison describing his efforts to invent the light bulb
Shortly after the US Congress appropriated $5 million to establish the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1955, cooperative groups were organized to accelerate the fight against cancer. Their coordinated efforts have been very successful, generating evidence that has influenced the entire spectrum of cancer care. Yet NCI cooperative groups face significant challenges in the current austere research funding environment. With limited funds, assessing the scientific impact of previously funded research offers the potential to guide optimal and efficient use of scarce research dollars.