Integrative Cancer Science. Global Impact. Individualized Patient Care.
Dear Colleagues and Friends:
We are pleased to present the 2019 Annual Report of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). The report highlights the AACR’s progress over the past year in support of our mission: to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, collaboration, research funding, and advocacy.
The theme of the AACR Annual Meeting 2019, “Integrative Cancer Science; Global Impact; Individualized Patient Care,” is also the theme of this report. The report outlines all the ways in which AACR programs and initiatives support the efforts of investigators—from basic research to translational, clinical, and population science—to improve the lives of cancer patients.
As the report documents, 2019 was another year of spectacular achievement. The AACR introduced new editors-in-chief for three of its world-class journals and began online publication of the newest AACR journal, Blood Cancer Discovery. AACR Project GENIE entered into a major research collaboration with a coalition of pharmaceutical companies that will accelerate the rate of clinical data collection and advance precision oncology to benefit cancer patients. And the innovative partnership between the AACR and MPM Capital (through its management of the UBS Oncology Impact Fund) yielded the first two Transformative Cancer Research Grants, providing $800,000 to support research that has the potential to explore new approaches to cancer treatment.
In addition to these advances, 2019 provided another opportunity to celebrate the inspiring accomplishments of AACR members. For the second consecutive year, we are proud to count newly minted Nobel Laureates among the AACR membership. AACR members William G. Kaelin Jr., MD, FAACR, and Gregg L. Semenza, MD, PhD, shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, MD, FRS, in recognition of their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.
The AACR was excited to celebrate the achievements of these esteemed AACR members, and it was even more exciting to see the Nobel committee recognize the critical value of basic science. The work that led to these prize-winning discoveries began more than two decades ago, as our member colleagues elucidated the mechanisms of oxygen-sensing and adaptation in cells. Over the next twenty years, this fundamental research was expanded and translated by many others (including other AACR members) into a range of treatment options for cancer and other diseases. Without that foundation of scientific discovery, progress against cancer would not be possible.
As the first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing progress against cancer, the AACR is uniquely positioned to support the complete lifecycle of cancer research, from basic science discoveries to translational investigations to clinical applications. Representing academia, government, and industry—and through the generosity of the individual, nonprofit, and corporate partners who support AACR programs—our 45,000 members work tirelessly to save, to extend, and to enhance the lives of people with cancer. We will continue to work with all sectors of the cancer community until we achieve our shared mission—the prevention and cure of all cancers.
Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc)
AACR Chief Executive Officer
Elaine R. Mardis, PhD, FAACR
AACR President 2019-2020
Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, FAACR
AACR President 2018-2019