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Fast Facts About American Cancer Society Research

The American Cancer Society has been conducting and funding cancer research since 1946. In that time, we have spent more than $4.5 billion on cancer research.

The research we conduct and fund spans numerous areas, including how best to prevent and treat cancer, why and how cancer comes about, what cancer survivors need most, and how to ensure equal access to cancer care.

These are 8 key facts to help you better understand how the American Cancer Society conducts and funds research, and the impact of this work.

ACS research team

The ACS Research Team

The American Cancer Society has two research divisions – one that consists of a large staff of cancer researchers who conduct their own studies (Intramural Research) and one that employs a small group of top cancer experts who oversee the program that provides funding to researchers at other institutions (Extramural grant program).

Karen Guillemin in lab

Who ACS Funds

The American Cancer Society grant program provides funding and support for external researchers as well as training for healthcare professionals. The grant program has a strong focus on bringing fresh minds to the cancer problem. ACS only funds the best ideas – regardless of cancer type – meaning it does not predetermine a designated amount of research funding for any particular cancer type. ACS believes this is the best way to advance the field of cancer research.

Two researchers in lab

How Many Researchers ACS Funds

New grants are usually awarded two times per year. At any one point in time, the Society is supporting more than 800 grantees throughout the country and across cancer types.

Nobel Laureates Composite Image

Nobel Laureates

Forty seven of the researchers the American Cancer Society has funded have won the Nobel Prize.

woman getting ct scan

Cancer Centers

Seventy-five percent of the directors of National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers are former American Cancer Society grantees.

cover of Cancer Facts and Figures 2014

Cancer Facts & Figures

Every year since 1951 American Cancer Society researchers have published Cancer Facts & Figures, the definitive source for projections of the number of cancer cases and deaths expected in each state and in the nation in the current year.

cancer prevention studies volunteers

Cancer Prevention Studies

American Cancer Society researchers have been conducting long-term studies consisting of millions of Americans since the 1950s. The goal of this research is to follow people over long periods of time to see who develops cancer and why. These studies have led to major cancer prevention breakthroughs, such as the links between smoking and cancer and obesity and cancer.

close up of researcher with dropper and test tubes

ACS Research News

The American Cancer Society regularly reports on the latest in cancer research including the work of current American Cancer Society researchers and grantees.