AACR Supports World Cancer Research Day

Every September 24, World Cancer Research Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the important role research plays in improving cancer treatments and reducing the global burden of this devastating collection of diseases. 

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, leading to 9.6 million deaths per year. Shockingly, the global cancer burden is expected to double by 2040, reflecting population growth and aging. 

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has produced a new round of public health challenges. While nations around world battle the spread of COVID-19, some elements of cancer research have taken a back seat. Many clinical trials were paused, and some labs closed temporarily as nations employed various quarantine strategies. 

“With the arrival of COVID-19, cancer research has come to a standstill around the world, which could unleash major consequences in the near future related to a setback in cancer prevention and treatment research,” note the organizers of World Cancer Research Day. “Thus, cooperation between the world’s leading cancer organizations becomes essential, to provide all possible support to researchers and health professionals and to ensure the well-being of people with cancer.”

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is proud to support World Cancer Research Day. As the world’s first and largest organization dedicated to cancer research, we provide a wide range of resources aimed at preventing and curing all cancers. We’re proud of our global reach, which encompasses members in 127 countries. We foster international partnerships that provide a strong network for collaboration. This article from the AACR’s Leading Discoveries magazine further details our international initiatives. 

To educate the public about World Cancer Research Day, AACR President Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, FAACR, took part in a special virtual panel on cancer research that included a discussion of collaborations and international initiatives. Ribas noted ongoing progress in cancer research, sharing highlights from the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2020, and he discussed the AACR COVID-19 and Cancer Task Force and Virtual Meeting as the panel addressed the pandemic’s impact on the field and patients with cancer. The panel with Ribas is available for viewing below on the World Cancer Research Day YouTube channel.


This month, the AACR released two reports that further reinforce the importance of cancer research. The inaugural AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report examines ways to achieve health equity for all, including racial and ethnic minorities and the medically underserved. Also, the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2020, released on Wednesday, highlights a record number of new cancer treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the past year. 

These resources are a key part of our mission to prevent and cure all cancers. In addition, the AACR annually convenes more than 30 conferences and educational workshops, including our signature AACR Annual Meeting. Held this year in a virtual format, the meeting attracted more than 100,000 attendees; previous in-person meetings drew more than 22,500. We also publish nine peer-reviewed journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers.  

As we support initiatives like World Cancer Research Day, we can propel cancer research forward, spurring new lifesaving breakthroughs for patients around the world.