About the American Cancer Society’s Research Program

The American Cancer Society’s research program was founded in 1946,
and has funded about $4 billion in cancer research since that time. The American Cancer Society is the largest non-profit, non-governmental source of cancer research funds in the United States, with an annual investment of approximately $130 million.

Scientists supported by the American Cancer Society have made great contributions. For example, they:

Established the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer

Demonstrated the effectiveness of the Papanicolaou (Pap) smear in detecting cervical cancer at an early stage, decreasing deaths by more than 70 percent

Developed cancer-fighting drugs (5-FU) and biologic response modifiers (interferon)

Dramatically increased the cure rate for childhood leukemia to over 85 percent

Developed monoclonal antibodies to treat lymphoma and breast cancer

Showed the importance of estrogen receptors in breast cancer

Showed the proficiency of the estrogen antagonist, tamoxifen, in preventing breast cancer recurrence and reducing incidence in high-risk women

Proved the safety and effectiveness of mammograms

Proved the efficacy of lumpectomy plus radiation compared with mastectomy for some breast cancers

Created hormonal therapy for prostate cancer

Developed the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening test


Defined the role of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) in tumor growth

Defined the structure of DNA, the genetic material

Discovered cancer-causing genes and tumor suppressor genes

Discovered breast and colon cancer susceptibility genes


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 the prize.


American Cancer Society Research in Arkansas

Marjan Boerma, PhD

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors and Tocols in Radiation-induced Heart Disease

07/01/2010 through 06/30/2014

$720,000

Harriet Farley, LCSW

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Master’s Training Grant in Clinical Oncology Social Work

07/01/2011 through 06/30/2012

$12,000

TOTAL GRANTS = 2

TOTAL GRANT MONEY = $732,000

Finding Cures in Arkansas