The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's oldest and largest professional association related to cancer research. Based in Philadelphia, the AACR focuses on all aspects of cancer research, including basic, clinical, and translational research into the etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Founded in 1907 by 11 physicians and scientists, the organization now has more than 34,000 members in over 90 countries.
The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 participants from around the world and has been described as the "main forum to present and discuss cancer-related research." Attendees gather to discuss over 6,000 abstracts and to hear more than 250 invited presentations on significant discoveries in basic, clinical, and translational cancer research. Scientific award lectures, grant writing workshops, networking events, and educational sessions round out this comprehensive program.
The AACR publishes eight peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Discovery, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Immunology Research, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Molecular Cancer Research, Cancer Prevention Research and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. In addition to its print publications, the AACR provides online access to the latest in cancer research, cancer prevention, and cancer reviews with online versions of each of its eight journals and two virtual journals: Cancer Reviews Online and the Cancer Prevention Journals Portal. The AACR also publishes Cancer Today, a magazine for cancer patients, survivors, and their families and friends.
Cancer Research is the most frequently cited cancer journal in the world. Papers are peer-reviewed, and only those that meet high standards of scientific merit are accepted for publication. The journal publishes significant, original studies, reviews, and perspectives on all areas of basic, clinical, translational, epidemiological, and prevention research in cancer and the cancer-related biomedical sciences. Some of the topics include biochemistry; chemical, physical, and viral carcinogenesis and mutagenesis; clinical research including clinical trials; endocrinology; epidemiology and prevention; experimental therapeutics, molecular targets, and chemical biology; immunology and immunotherapy including biological therapy; molecular biology, pathobiology, and genetics; radiobiology and radiation oncology; cell and tumor biology; tumor microenvironment; systems biology and other emerging technologies.
The AACR Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides financial support for scientific research, education, and communication. The foundation funds programs deemed by the American Association for Cancer Research to be of the highest priority and impact.
The AACR Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer directly funds research that holds promise for a cure for cancer. The foundation's mission to "accelerate progress in the conquest of cancer by providing financial support for scientific research, education, and communication" is demonstrated by its support of scientists at all levels. Ninety cents of every dollar raised by the foundation is spent in support of this mission. The AACR offers support to cancer researchers at various stages in their careers, from fellowships to career development awards to major grants for independent investigators.
See also AACR Awards and List of fellows of the AACR Academy
The AACR also confers award recognitions for various research accomplishments (listing 17 annual such awards on its web site as of January 2015). The awards typically include a commemorative plaque or certificate, an invitation to present a lecture at the association's annual meeting or an association-sponsored research conference, and coverage of travel costs to attend with a guest, and most of the awards include an additional honorarium (e.g., $5,000–$10,000 for most awards, $50,000 for a Team Science Award, and €75,000 for an international award co-sponsored by a separate foundation).
In 1970 the AACR established a Cornelius P. Rhoads Memorial Award, named after a prominent cancer researcher and administrator who directed the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and had a long career in working to cure cancer. It is awarded annually to a promising young researcher. However, due to a revival in 2002 of a 1932 controversy in which a racist letter by Rhoads was found and publicized, the AACR stripped his name from the award, so the award has since been known as the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research.