American Cancer Society Research Program Finding Cures in Tennessee

A world free of cancer. That is the vision of the American Cancer Society and the driving force behind the American Cancer Society’s research program. By finding cures, the Society and its funded researchers are helping people celebrate more birthdays and light more candles.

The American Cancer Society’s research program, which was founded in 1946, has funded about $4 billion in cancer research to date and invests approximately $130 million annually. These funds support groundbreaking research that helps us better understand, prevent and treat cancer. In fact, the Society has had a hand in nearly every major cancer breakthrough of the last century, including establishing the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer; demonstrating the effectiveness of the Papanicolaou (Pap) smear in detecting cervical cancer at an early stage; proving the safety and effectiveness of mammograms; and dramatically increasing the cure rates for childhood leukemia to over 85 percent. 

The success of the American Cancer Society’s research program is exemplified by the fact that 46 Nobel Prize winners received grant support from the Society before they were awarded that honor. In fact, two of the three scientists receiving the 2011 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology are former American Cancer Society research grantees. The work of these researchers and the over 900 currently funded investigators nationwide will continue to inform the area of cancer detection and diagnosis as well as treatment for years to come.

In Tennessee alone, the American Cancer Society is currently funding 24 research grants, totaling over $11.3 million. These grants are in effect at institutions including Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University.

 For more information on research funded by the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit