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 Kentucky

Gang Chen, PhD

University of Kentucky

The Mechanism of Arsenic-Induced Cell Transformation

07/01/2011 through 6/30/2015

$599,000

Edith Crumb, MS

University of Louisville

Examining the Psychosocial Needs of Siblings of Childhood Cancer Patients

07/01/2011 through 6/30/2013

$40,000

Teresa Cunningham, MSSW

Hospice of the Bluegrass

Master’s Training Grant in Clinical Oncology SW

07/01/2011 through 6/30/2012

$12,000

Ayman El-Baz, PhD

University of Louisville

A Novel Image-Based Diagnostic System for Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer

07/01/2011 through 06/30/2015

$577,000

Tianyan Gao, PhD

University of Kentucky

Molecular Mechanisms of PHLPP-Mediated Regulation In Colon Cancer

07/01/2008 through 06/30/2012

$720,000

Ellen Green, MSW

Hosparus, Inc.

Master’s Training Grant in Clinical Oncology SW

07/01/2011 through 6/30/2012

$12,000

Kevin Pearce, MD

University of Kentucky

Physician Training Award in Cancer Prevention

01/01/2011 through 06/30/2015

$300,000

Tara Schapmire, MSSW

University of Louisville

Distress in Older Adults with Cancer: A Multilevel Longitudinal Analysis

07/01/2010 through 06/30/2012

$40,000

Brett Spear, PhD

University of Kentucky

Institutional Research Grant

01/01/20008 through 12/31/2012

$270,000

Sucheta Telang, MBBS

University of Louisville

Targeting 6-Phosphofructo-2-Kinase Isoform-4 in Lung Cancer

01/01/2010 through 12/31/2013

$720,000

Jun Yan, MD, PhD

University of Louisville

Targeting of Antigen to B Cells as a Novel Vaccine for Cancer Immunotherapy

07/01/2009 through 06/30/2013

$720,000

TOTAL GRANTS = 11

TOTAL GRANT MONEY = $4,010,000

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