American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2008

May Is National Cancer Research Month

May 7, 2008

American Association for Cancer Research Secures Official Congressional Designation

Learn more about National Cancer Research Month.

PHILADELPHIA- In a bipartisan show of support for cancer research, the U.S. Congress has declared May as National Cancer Research Month. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) secured resolutions from the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to raise awareness of the critical advances in cancer research made by its 27,000 members and cancer researchers worldwide, and its efforts to ensure a secure future for continued progress against a group of diseases which strike half of all men and one in three women.

"There are ten million cancer survivors alive in America today due to advances in cancer research. Through this congressional designation we will bring heightened awareness to progress in cancer research and emphasize the importance of continued discovery in medical science," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), AACR chief executive officer. "AACR is grateful to our friends in Congress who are committed to working with the cancer community in our joint mission to conquer cancer."

The National Cancer Research Month Senate Resolution 394 was sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK). The House Resolution 448 was sponsored by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) with support from Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY), Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Both resolutions were passed by unanimous consent. The full text of S. Res. 394 and H. Res. 448 may be found by searching

"Preventing and ultimately finding a cure for cancer is a major public health challenge," said Rep. Baldwin, as noted in the Congressional Record for Oct. 15, 2007. "Providing a National Cancer Research Month will remind us that basic, clinical, epidemiological, and behavioral research are integral to identifying causes and developing strategies for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cures for cancer."

"While acknowledging and putting aside this month is important, what is even more important is continuing to support the research of those caring, compassionate health care professionals who will one day find the cure for all cancer," said Rep. Fossella. "That should be our wish and national goal and priority."

Recent advances in science and technology, such as the mapping of the human genome, have dramatically increased our understanding of the genes and biological pathways involved in changing normal cells into cancer cells. With this new knowledge, scientists are able to identify people at risk for cancer long before the disease has a chance to form, and to develop targeted therapies and better prevention strategies. Advanced imaging and other new technologies give doctors and researchers a growing toolbox with which to fight cancer and help patients.

While cancer research is yielding real and significant improvements in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of many forms of the disease, federal funding for cancer research is declining. The AACR urges the U.S. Congress to make cancer research a national priority and to keep federal research funding intact and robust to ensure continued progress against cancer in the future.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes nearly 27,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 70 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication and its sixth major journal, Cancer Prevention Research, is dedicated exclusively to cancer prevention, from preclinical research to clinical trials. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Ryan