On May 7, 1907, eleven visionary scientists met at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., to develop a scientific organization “to further the investigation and spread the knowledge of cancer.” This date marks the founding of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing progress against cancer.
One hundred and fifteen years after the birth of this vital organization, we are pleased to commemorate the anniversary of our founding with the 2022 AACR Annual Impact Report. The report highlights the AACR’s progress during the past year in support of our mission: to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication, collaboration, science policy and advocacy, and funding for cancer research.
The theme of the AACR Annual Meeting 2022, “Decoding Cancer Complexity; Integrating Science; Transforming Patient Outcomes," is also the theme of this report. The report outlines all the ways in which the AACR—through its programs, initiatives, and critical role as a scientific partner, collaborator, and convenor—serves as the driving force to eradicate cancer.
As the report documents, 2022 was a year of spectacular achievements for the AACR, achievements that reflect the myriad ways in which the organization powers progress against cancer. The AACR Annual Meeting was offered in hybrid format for the first time in our history, providing live-streamed sessions to virtual attendees while giving in-person attendees the opportunity to network with colleagues and collaborators in New Orleans. Three AACR scientific reports were released to inform and guide policy makers and regulators: the twelfth edition of the AACR Cancer Progress Report; the second edition of the trailblazing AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report; and the first-of-its-kind AACR Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Research and Patient Care. AACR Project GENIE® shared its twelfth public data release, increasing the size of this international pancancer registry to more than 153,000 sequenced tumors from more than 137,000 patients. And the AACR organized two historic meetings encompassing a total of more than 80 of the nation’s cancer center directors to discuss more effective ways of collaborating to advance cancer research and patient care.
Our 115th anniversary year provided an opportunity to celebrate our storied past, and to note that the AACR’s distinguished history is intertwined with the evolution of the cancer research field. The history of the AACR is the history of cancer research—but more importantly, the future of the AACR is the future of cancer research. From those 11 founders to our more than 52,000 members today, the AACR has always looked boldly to the future, making paradigm-shifting discoveries and translating them into practice-changing treatments. And by looking boldly to the future, we offer patients and their families the hope of a future without cancer.
Lisa M. Coussens, PhD, FAACR
AACR President, 2022–2023
Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc)
AACR Chief Executive Officer
David A. Tuveson, MD, PhD, FAACR
AACR President, 2021–2022