National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the U.S. government’s principal agency for cancer research and training. NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of 11 agencies that make up the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The mission of NCI is to lead, conduct, and support cancer research across the nation to advance scientific knowledge and help all people live longer, healthier lives.

Throughout 2021, NCI is joining with others across the cancer community to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971, the landmark legislation that changed the course of cancer research and care. The act gave new authority to the NCI and established some of the programs that form the backbone of today’s cancer research enterprise.

To commemorate this milestone, NCI is sharing stories of progress and the people, past and present, who have made that progress possible. You can read all of these stories on The theme for the commemoration is “Nothing will stop us”, which represents the barriers we’ve overcome and the cancer community’s collective commitment to overcome those we will undoubtedly face in the future.

We hope looking back over the past 50 years will help us all appreciate even more the progress that’s been and the promise that—thanks in no small part to the National Cancer Act—the future holds.

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