- What is the U.S. National Cancer Institute?
The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) is 1of 27 Institutes and Centers
that comprise the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is part
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
- When was NCI established?
NCI was established by Congress in the National
Cancer Institute Act of 1937.
- What are NCI's main responsibilities and activities?
NCI’s initial responsibilities, as defined in the National Cancer Institute
Act, included conducting and fostering cancer research; reviewing and approving
grant-in-aid applications to support promising research projects on the causes,
diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer; collecting, analyzing, and
disseminating the results of cancer research conducted in the United States
and in other countries; and providing training and instruction in cancer diagnosis
NCI's responsibilities were later expanded and strengthened in the National
Cancer Act of 1971. In this legislation, Congress created the National
Cancer Program and charged NCI with its coordination.
In fulfilling its responsibilities, NCI has built a national network that
includes regional and community cancer centers, physicians who are cancer
specialists, cooperative groups of clinical
researchers, and volunteer and community outreach groups.
In addition, NCI has developed an infrastructure for discovery that consists
of support mechanisms, organizations, and networks that link scientists, facilities,
resources, and information. This infrastructure provides the foundation for
and clinical research activities encompassing all aspects of cancer, including
biology, genetics, epidemiology,
detection, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, palliative care, and survivorship.
NCI's infrastructure also supports training programs to ensure the continuous
development of highly skilled researchers in basic, clinical, cancer control,
behavioral, and population sciences. Each year the efforts of thousands of
researchers supported by this infrastructure produce scientific advances in
all areas of cancer research. Furthermore, NCI has initiated cancer control
programs to hasten the application of knowledge gained through research.
The National Cancer Act of 1971 also expanded the scope of NCI's international
activities to include support of cancer research outside the United States
by highly qualified foreign nationals, collaborative research involving U.S.
and foreign participants, and training of U.S. scientists abroad and foreign
scientists in the United States.
Additional legislation (the current Public
Health Service Act) expanded NCI's information dissemination activities
to include providing information and education programs for patients and the
public to help individuals take steps to reduce their risk of cancer, to make
them aware of early detection techniques and motivate the appropriate utilization
of these techniques, to help individuals deal with cancer if it strikes, and
to provide information to improve long-term survival. In addition, NCI was
charged with continuing and expanding programs to provide physicians and the
public with state-of-the-art information about the treatment of individual
types of cancer and to identify clinical trials that might benefit patients
while advancing knowledge of cancer treatment.
- Where is NCI located?
NCI is located at 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892.
- What is NCI's annual budget?
In Fiscal Year 2007, the NCI budget was over $4.79 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 NCI.
- Is progress being made in the fight against cancer?
Because of the work of NCI scientists and cancer researchers throughout the
United States and the rest of the world, real progress is being made against
cancer. In the United States, the rate of new cancer cases overall has been
declining since 1999, and the rate of cancer deaths overall has been decreasing
for more than a decade. These trends reflect improvements in cancer treatment
and advances in technology that have led to better tools for understanding,
detecting, and diagnosing cancer. People with cancer are living longer and
have a better quality
of life than ever before. In 2007, there were nearly 12 million cancer
survivors in the United States.