American Association for Cancer Research
2015 Annual Report
bringing cancer
to patients

Welcome: Bringing Cancer Discoveries to Patients

We are pleased to present the 2015 Annual Report of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). The report highlights the AACR’s progress over the past year in support of our mission: to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, and collaboration.

The theme of the AACR Annual Meeting 2015, “Bringing Cancer Discoveries to Patients,” is also the theme of this report. It emphasizes the critical value of each step along the cancer science continuum, from basic discoveries to translational advances to clinical treatments. With 35,000 members working in every discipline along that continuum, the AACR is uniquely positioned to improve the lives of cancer patients in a myriad of ways:


The AACR identifies and fosters innovative science that is of the highest priority for impact in reducing cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality. One of the AACR’s major mechanisms for accomplishing this goal is to promote high-quality science through its Scientific Review and Grants Administration program. The AACR provides scientific oversight and expert peer review to ensure that the most promising projects receive essential funding. Working with funding partners throughout the cancer community, the AACR awarded nearly $70 million in grants to exceptional investigators in 2015. The AACR also fosters innovation and recognizes the meritorious work of investigators and their impact on the field through Scientific Achievement Awards and election as Fellows of the AACR Academy.

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The AACR sustains the pipeline of cancer scientists at all career levels. Special programs inspire high school students and undergraduates to pursue careers in cancer research, and educational workshops help early-career scientists to become leaders in their fields. AACR Annual Meetings and conferences bring together emerging and established scientists to share their research findings and learn about the latest developments in all disciplines. The AACR also educates advocates through the Scientist↔Survivor Program, pairing them with mentors who provide the scientific context for their vitally important work in the cancer field.

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The AACR’s scientific journals and conferences provide leading investigators with a vital forum for sharing the latest discoveries, using the page and the podium to disseminate cutting-edge cancer science in all disciplines. The AACR also fosters dialogue among the various stakeholders in the cancer community. Through briefings, workshops, and the AACR Cancer Progress Report, the Office of Science Policy and Government Affairs keeps lawmakers, regulators, and the public informed about the critical value of cancer research. In addition, Cancer Today magazine and the Survivor and Patient Advocacy program provide authoritative knowledge that empowers patients, caregivers, and patient advocates to meet the challenges of a cancer diagnosis.

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With members in 101 countries and a longstanding reputation for scientific excellence, the AACR forges partnerships with scientific and advocacy organizations worldwide to advance science for the benefit of all cancer patients. In addition, the AACR’s cross-disciplinary meetings, workshops, and task forces bring investigators from academia, government, and industry together, breaking down silos and building productive relationships.

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Cancer is a complex disease, and achieving our mission to prevent and cure all cancers requires a concerted effort in a wide range of scientific and policy areas. As this report demonstrates, the AACR is actively engaged in these areas, supporting the community that will translate our increasing understanding of the cancer problem into solutions.

Our mission is ambitious.
Together, we will achieve it.

José Baselga, MD, PhD, FAACR
AACR President 2015-16

Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc)
AACR Chief Executive Officer

Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, FAACR
AACR President 2014-15

Mission statement

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, and collaboration. Through its programs and services, the AACR fosters research in cancer and related biomedical science; accelerates the dissemination of new research findings among scientists and others dedicated to the conquest of cancer; promotes science education and training; and advances the understanding of cancer etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment throughout the world.

VISION statement

To be the most effective catalyst for cures and prevention through cancer science.


The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest cancer research organization dedicated to accelerating the prevention and cure of cancer. Founded in 1907 by nine physicians and two laboratory scientists, the AACR has more than 35,000 members in 101 countries. Learn more about the history of the AACR.