American Institute for Cancer Research

We want to live in a world where no-one develops a preventable cancer.

aka AICR   |   Arlington, VA   |  http://www.aicr.org

Mission

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

Ruling year info

1982

Executive Vice President

Ms. Deirdre McGinley-Gieser

Main address

1560 Wilson Boulevard Suite 1000

Arlington, VA 22209 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1238026

NTEE code info

Cancer (G30)

Cancer Research (H30)

Nutrition Programs (K40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Research shows that approximately 40% of all cancers could be prevented. We want to live in a world where no-one develops a preventable cancer.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Research Program

The American Institute for Cancer Research leads the charge in cancer prevention and healthy survivorship. AICR is one of the pioneers in funding research that examines the link between diet and cancer. AICR’s earliest commitment to studying the role of diet and other lifestyle factors in lowering cancer risk and healthy survivorship was a revolutionary path to begin with. By investing in the scientific community and cutting-edge research, AICR has transformed the once-radical notion, that everyday choices can dramatically reduce cancer risk, into a universally accepted clinical fact. In total, through FY19, AICR has committed almost $110 million for hundreds of individual research projects at universities, hospitals and research centers.

AICR’s grant program provides funds for innovative research that focuses on the intersection of diet, weight, physical activity, and cancer risk. By offering grants for basic, translational and clinical research to scientists and clinicians at various career levels, AICR seeks to expand the understanding of cancer, improve cancer care, and ultimately, realize our vision of a world where no one develops a preventable cancer.

AICR’s expert reports are created from a massive database of scientific literature and provides the latest and most authoritative body of evidence on how lifestyle factors such as diet, nutrition, body weight, and physical activity can impact cancer risk and survivorship. These reports are a vital resource for anyone involved in preventing and surviving cancer. The reports provide a broad range of interested parties such as oncologists, dietitians, health professionals, cancer care centers, etc., up-to-date, detailed information about the varying processes that underpin the development and progression of cancer.

AICR’s research conferences, symposia and presentations address the latest challenges and developments in research, and help scientists, medical and other health professionals stay up to date on advances in nutrition, lifestyle, and cancer risk, learn from each other and initiate new collaborations to solve how cancer risk can be reduced.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Health

AICR’s education programs are based on scientific evidence. This evidence comes from both the research we fund, and the conclusions drawn in our scientific expert reports. We translate the scientific findings into practical and clear recommendations on cancer prevention for use by health professionals, patients, and governments. We produce educational materials to meet a wide variety of needs, across all stages of the cancer continuum. These include print, online, and interactive programs.

Cancer Health Check
The choices we make each day can help reduce our risk for cancer. AICR’s Cancer Health Check helps people learn more about their choices and how they can stack the odds in their favor. This is an easy-to-use interactive online tool to help individuals understand their risk for cancer (including reoccurrence and secondary cancer) that was developed using AICR’s evidence-based Cancer Prevention Recommendations. Individuals answer a series of diet, nutrition, physical activity and other lifestyle-based questions. After completing the series of questions, a report summary is provided which highlights areas where an individual is doing well and areas to focus on for further improvement. This is a very approachable tool that is used by both the public and by healthcare providers with their patients and clients.

Healthy10 Challenge
The Healthy10 Challenge is based on AICR’s Cancer Prevention Recommendations—and the science is clear: they work. This 10-week interactive program helps people build healthy habits to eat smarter and move more and is a great way to kickstart their journey to a healthier lifestyle. Each week individuals conquer a different challenge focused on making better food decisions and being more active. All the tools needed to create success are available throughout the challenge.

Foods That Fight Cancer & Recipes
No single food can protect you against cancer by itself, but research shows that a diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and other plant foods helps lower risk for many cancers. In laboratory studies, many individual minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals demonstrate anti-cancer effects. The research on 26 different foods is explained in easy language to help individuals understand how to include the right foods in their daily meals and the foods to avoid. Recipes demonstrate how to incorporate these foods into delicious meals that can help create a powerful cancer-protective way of eating.

Coping with Cancer in the Kitchen
Coping with Cancer in the Kitchen is a unique community education program that can be hosted across the country in person or virtually. Each session takes place in a community space or online and is run jointly by a local registered dietitian and a local social worker. The program consists of eight 90-minute sessions of guided learning and sharing spread out over two months. Expert-led conversations dive into a range of topics related to diet and emotional wellbeing and give survivors a forum to share their experiences and participate in structured group activities. Participants enjoy an informal setting, and benefit from conversational access to registered dietitians and social workers.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Health

AICR works with lawmakers, medical experts, and community officials to devise legislation to reduce preventable cases of cancer and to strengthen laws for cancer patients and survivors. AICR is dedicated to improving the state of public health at large.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. and one of the costliest health conditions. Cancer prevention and healthy survivorship involves more than just our individual choices. Public policies can make it easier – or harder – for people to make decisions that support their health. By advocating for federal policies that support bold cancer prevention and survivorship research, AICR is helping all Americans to lead healthy lifestyles.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Health
Age groups
Health

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Health

Related Program

Education Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The AICR website was updated in 2020 with easier navigation and clear focus on linking evidence to education and increasing access to practical tools to help lower individual risk.

Investment in Cancer Risk Reduction Programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Health

Related Program

Education Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Programs include a print newsletter distributed to 1 million people annually; over 50,000 brochures distributed annually; 4 electronic newsletters a month reaching 220,000 individuals.

Number of Lifestyles Changed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Health

Related Program

Education Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Practical tools for individuals to lower their cancer risk. New American Plate Challenge was started in 2009 and updated to Healthy10 Challenge in 2020. Cancer Health Check was started in 2019.

Grant Funding

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Health

Related Program

Research Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Grant program is competitive. A peer review process ensures the best projects are recommended for funding and the top 8–12 grants each year deemed most innovative and likely to have greatest impact.

Scientific reports on different cancers published

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Health

Related Program

Research Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Scientific reports on different cancers ensure that latest collated evidence is available and distributed to everyone who can benefit.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

AICR is a leader in the fight for cancer prevention and healthy survivorship. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. and 608,570 Americans with cancer are expected to die from the disease in 2021. Around 40% of newly diagnosed cancers are potentially preventable – which translates to about 797,000 cases in 2021. AICR aims to help Americans reduce their risk of developing and dying from a preventable cancer by focusing on how nutrition, physical activity, weight management and other lifestyle factors impact cancer risk. We aim to:
• ensure the scientific evidence is robust, growing and in the public domain
• to provide evidence-based programs and tools that help the public adopt lifestyle practices that will reduce their own cancer risk
• to provide evidence- based support and tools for cancer patients and survivors to navigate their cancer journey and to reduce cancer recurrence
• to advocate for federal policies to be enacted that support cancer research funding and sharpen focus on preventive public health

We are committed to giving families and communities the tools they need to take charge of their health and nutrition. Relentless in our efforts, we improve lives through action, education, and cutting-edge research.
AICR’s work is organized in three core areas to meet our aims:

Research
We fund the scientific research that reveals how and why nutrition, dietary patterns, physical activity and weight affect cancer risk. We do this to encourage more and better research in the vital field of cancer prevention and survivorship

We continuously analyze the global scientific evidence and issue reports that pinpoint which specific lifestyle changes have a clear protective or causative role in which specific cancers. We do this to help focus and direct the research efforts of the scientific community to those promising areas that most urgently demand further investigation. We then turn these scientific judgments into AICR's Cancer Prevention Recommendations as practical guidance to individuals.

Education
We develop evidence-based programs and materials not only to raise awareness but more importantly to give individuals the tools to be able to follow the cancer prevention recommendations and empower them to reduce their own cancer risk. We offer several resources that empower cancer patients and survivors. We communicate directly with the public but also support health professionals to offer these programs in their communities. We encourage healthier lifestyles today so that there will be fewer cancers tomorrow and survivors can live a healthy cancer free life.


Policy & Advocacy
Cancer prevention and healthy survivorship involves more than just our individual choices. Public policies can make it easier – or harder – for people to make decisions that support their health. By advocating for federal policies that support cancer prevention and survivorship research, AICR is helping all Americans to embrace a healthier lifestyle. We work toward this goal by focusing on four key federal priority policy areas that are important for helping people make informed choices to reduce their cancer risk and improve cancer survival.

The organization has capabilities to achieve our aims, including expertise in cancer research, health promotion and operational systems.
AICR employs individuals who are dedicated to advancing scientific progress in our field. Our research department is led by a Ph. D and our Health Professionals program is led by an M.S./R.D.N. We work with many additional scientists and clinicians who are dedicated to increasing awareness of the preventive power of healthy lifestyles.

AICR’s reach is expansive. The quarterly newsletter reaches 1 million households every year with practical advice and recipes. Our four e-publications reach over 200,000 readers each month and health-professionals help us deliver our message and distribute over 45,000 brochures and health aids per year. We leverage strategic partnerships and engage in targeted coalitions to reach audiences that will benefit from our work and to advocate for effective public health policies. We are a trusted partner for many organizations and share our knowledge through fruitful collaborations.

Over the course of three decades in operation, AICR has transformed the modern understanding of cancer. We were founded to drive research on the diet-cancer link – a fringe notion in 1982 that, due in large part to the AICR's work, has become a basic tenet in current medical literature. Thanks, in no small measure to our 1997, 2007 and 2018 Expert Reports, the study of diet and cancer has surged. Our reports are considered the authority because of the rigor of our process and are used by many reputable organizations as a key reference
AICR has provided almost $110 million for cutting-edge cancer research. We have supported hundreds of scientists since our founding in 1982.
We’ve pushed research to new heights and have helped thousands of communities better understand the intersection of lifestyle, nutrition and cancer. AICR has gained the reputation as the go-to organization for the evidence base in this field. Indeed, many non-profit organizations and cancer centers rely on our recommendations, resources, programs and experts to support their own programs, patients and survivors. AICR’s 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations are widely used by health professionals in clinical settings as a document that they can point to and ask their patients to adhere to for a healthier lifestyle.
Over the course of the last five years, researchers not affiliated with AICR have begun to publish independent scientific studies confirming that adherence to AICR's Recommendations for Cancer Prevention does in fact prevent breast and prostate cancer, reduces overall risk of cancer death, decreases all-cause mortality, extends cancer survival, and improves the health and well-being of survivors.
Recently, AICR research on the diet-cancer link helped shape the USDA's 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans; the Guidelines committee cited AICR reports heavily throughout the drafting process.

AICR experts are in demand for presentations, webinars and other events, to share their knowledge on cancer prevention and provide up to date information.
We have come very far since 1982 but we have a long way to go to arrive at the day when every preventable cancer is in fact prevented. Our next steps in scientific discovery are to advance knowledge by focusing on the critical challenge for cancer prevention and survival over the next five years. This includes development of guidance and recommendations for specific cancers and for survivors of childhood cancers. Our next step in building awareness is to launch robust programs within communities led by local health professionals to support individuals changing their behaviors to reduce their cancer risk.
Our future work will certainly help ensure that our mission will have a long-lasting impact on cancer prevention and survivorship for years to come.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

American Institute for Cancer Research
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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American Institute for Cancer Research

Board of directors
as of 06/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Melvin Hutson

Law Offices of Melvin Hutson, P.A.

Jeffrey Bunn

Susan Pepper

Lawrence Pratt

Melvin Hutson

Thomas Bangasser

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/10/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data