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    Reviewed: 10/17/2006
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The U.S. National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, coordinates the Nation’s research program on cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and control.

NCI was established by Congress in 1937, and its programs were intensified in 1971 after passage of new legislation called the National Cancer Act. As a result of the 1971 legislation, the NCI has built a network that includes regional and community cancer centers, physicians who are cancer specialists, cooperative groups of clinical researchers, and volunteer and community outreach groups. NCI also has initiated cancer control programs to hasten the application of knowledge gained through cancer research.

NCI has developed research programs supported by an infrastructure for discovery composed of support mechanisms, organizations, and networks that link scientists, facilities, and information. This is the underpinning for activities that encompass all aspects of cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, control, and survivorship. The infrastructure supports basic, translational, and clinical cancer research, and each year the efforts of thousands of scientists supported by NCI’s infrastructure yield scientific advances in all areas of cancer research.

Because of the work of scientists throughout the world, real progress is being made against cancer. In the United States, the rate of new cancer cases is currently stable, and cancer deaths are falling overall. Advances in technology have led to improved tools for understanding, detecting, and diagnosing cancer. People with cancer are living longer, and with a better quality of life, than ever before. In the United States, there are now 10.5 million cancer survivors.

In Fiscal Year 2005, the NCI budget was $4.8 billion, most of which was used to fund grants and contracts to universities, medical schools, cancer centers, research laboratories, and private firms in the United States and about 60 other countries around the world. The balance of the funds supported research activities conducted at the National Cancer Institute.

The National Cancer Institute is located at 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892.

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