National Cancer Research Month is celebrated each May and highlights the importance of lifesaving cancer research. Millions of people around the world are deeply affected by cancers such as mesothelioma. Advocating for further research can help us discover a cure for mesothelioma and other cancers.

What Is National Cancer Research Month?

National Cancer Research Month is a month-long event that takes place every May. This awareness month was created and sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

The AACR is a nonprofit organization that strives to prevent and cure cancer. It was founded in 1907 in Washington, D.C. by 11 doctors and scientists and grew into the large research foundation it is today.

National Cancer Research Month was recognized and declared by the U.S. Congress in 2007, 2011, and 2014 in recognition of the AACR’s efforts in innovative and high-quality cancer research.

The Goal of National Cancer Research Month

The AACR created National Cancer Research Month to highlight cancer research that aims to treat and cure all types of cancer that affect millions of people around the world.

The goal of National Cancer Research Month is to advocate, educate, collaborate, and bring awareness to help find a cure for cancer. The AACR works with world-renowned doctors, cancer centers, advocacy groups, and research institutions to collaborate in their efforts to further cancer research.

One of the main goals for National Cancer Research Month 2021 is to come together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 48,000 AACR members specializing in cancer research are contributing their expertise to care for cancer patients affected by COVID-19.

Why Cancer Research Is So Important

There is currently no known cure for cancer. Researchers around the world are conducting studies and working every day to search for a cure for deadly cancers such as mesothelioma.

Cancer research is leading society to a cure and new treatments for cancer that could save millions of lives. Scientists are discovering new methods to eliminate cancer and improve the prognosis of patients.

Rare diseases with poor outlooks, such as mesothelioma, rely heavily on the research efforts of scientists to find new treatment methods.

Mesothelioma cancer research has led to several new life-extending treatments for patients such as gene therapy, epigenetic therapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), virotherapy, cryotherapy, p53 restorative drugs, and more.

One recent accomplishment in cancer research is the use of immunotherapy to treat mesothelioma.

Research has found that the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo®) and ipilimumab (Yervoy®) has improved the prognosis for patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma. According to the FDA, the median overall survival for patients treated with nivolumab plus ipilimumab was 18.1 months, compared to 14.1 months for chemotherapy patients.

According to the University of Illinois Cancer Center, death rates for lung cancer dropped 21.3% between 2007 and 2020. Cancer death rates are expected to continue to drop with further research and new treatment methods.

The AACR also notes that more than 16.9 million people in the U.S. are living with, through, and beyond their diagnoses because of lifesaving cancer research.

How to Participate in National Cancer Research Month

You can play a vital part in advocating for cancer research. Bringing awareness and celebrating the scientists and physicians that conduct lifesaving research can help us come together to find a cure for cancer.

There are many ways you can support and advocate for National Cancer Research Month:

  • Call members of Congress to support research
  • Donate blood and platelets for cancer research
  • Donate money to cancer research foundations
  • Participate in a clinical trial
  • Share your cancer journey story with others
  • Thank a doctor, physician, or oncologist
  • Use the hashtags #NCRM21 and #ResearchSavesLives
  • Volunteer at cancer centers in your area

Get our free Mesothelioma Guide today to learn more about mesothelioma cancer treatment and improving your prognosis.

Asbestos Guide
Download Asbestos Products GuideFree 2024 Asbestos Guide
  • Asbestos safety information
  • Products containing asbestos
  • Common exposure risks

Get Your Free Guide

Laura WrightWritten by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

Our Promise to You
Our Promise to You
  1. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). FDA approves NIVOLUMAB AND Ipilimumab for unresectable MALIGNANT PLEUR. Retrieved May 21, 2021, from

  2. May is National cancer Research Month. (2017, May 01). Retrieved May 21, 2021, from

  3. May is National cancer Research Month. (2020, December 14). Retrieved May 21, 2021, from

  4. National cancer Research Month. (n.d.). Retrieved May 21, 2021, from

  5. National cancer Research MONTH: AACR Foundation. (2021, May 01). Retrieved May 21, 2021, from

Get Your Free 2024 Mesothelioma Guide

  • Symptoms & staging
  • Average prognosis
  • Life-extending treatments
Get Your Free Guide Now
Mesothelioma guide