Comprehensive cancer control is defined as an integrated and coordinated approach to reducing cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality across the cancer control continuum from primary prevention to end-of-life care. This approach assumes that when the public sector, non-governmental organizations, academia, and the private sector share with each other their skills, knowledge, and resources, a country can take advantage of all its talents and resources to more quickly reduce the burden of cancer for all its population. One critical issue for comprehensive cancer control is the extent to which the private sector can contribute to cancer prevention and control programs and policies that have historically been lead by the public health sector, and similarly how can the public sector increase its investment and involvement in clinical research and practice issues that are largely driven by the private sector worldwide? In addition, building capacity to integrate research that is appropriate to the culture and context of the population will be important in different settings, in particular research related to cancer control interventions that have the capacity to influence outcomes. To whatever extent cancer control research is ultimately funded through the private and public sectors, if investments in research discoveries are ultimately to benefit the populations that bear the greatest burden of disease, then new approaches to integrating the lessons learned from science with the lessons learned from service (public health, clinical, and public policy) must be found to close the gap between what we know and what we do. Communities of practice for international cancer control, like the ones fostered by the first three International Cancer Control Congresses, represent an important forum for knowledge exchange opportunities to accelerate the translation of new knowledge into action to reduce the burden of cancer worldwide.