Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Since its beginning in 1946, the American Cancer Society's Research and Training Program has invested more than $5 billion in the fight against cancer and remains the largest private, non-profit source of cancer research funds in the United States. The American Cancer Society has played a role in most major cancer research breakthroughs in recent history, as exemplified by the 50 Society-funded investigators who have gone on to become Nobel Laureates.
At the core of this highly successful cancer research and training program is the peer review process. Cancer researchers and trainees at biomedical institutions throughout the United States submit approximately 1,200 grant applications each year to the American Cancer Society. They compete for funding as new research projects or training grants in a wide variety of scientific research areas critical to the effort of eliminating cancer as a major human disease.
Each application is evaluated for scientific merit and relevance to cancer by one of 13 peer review committees. These committees are composed of experts in a specific field or approach to understanding cancer and 1 to 4 Stakeholders. The role of the peer review committees is to identify the most outstanding applications for funding.
The most highly rated grant applications are reviewed by the Council for Extramural Discovery Science, which is comprised of leaders from the scientific community and Stakeholders. The role of the Council is to recommend outstanding proposals for funding by the American Cancer Society.
Stakeholders are individuals without formal science or oncology training who have a strong interest in cancer research. Stakeholders bring with them a personal experience with the disease as a survivor or as a family member or caregiver of a person with cancer.
The two main goals of stakeholder participation on peer review committees are to:
As a result of their participation, Stakeholders may become knowledgeable advocates for the role of the Research and Training Program in the American Cancer Society's effort to advance cancer control.
Potential Stakeholders should be willing to embrace the broad perspective of cancer research and training utilized by the ACS in its funding of grants. They should also have demonstrated effectiveness in interacting with committees/groups as a leader or participant in a managerial, professional, or educational capacity. And they should have a personal experience with cancer—as a survivor or as a family member or caregiver of a person with cancer—that will inform their assessment of the cancer relevance of grant applications.
Stakeholders typically do not have advanced formal training in the topics reviewed by the peer review committees on which they serve. In instances where stakeholders do have scientific professional credentials, they should not expect to participate on a peer review committee focused in areas directly related to their cancer research or health professional training. This is especially important for nurses and medical doctors with training in oncology or people with doctorate levels of education and expert training in the life sciences related to cancer research. Participation on peer review committees closely aligned with a stakeholder’s profession is viewed as a possible conflict with the role of stakeholder.
Employees of the American Cancer Society are not eligible to be stakeholders, nor are volunteer leaders, such as members of the Society’s National Board of Directors.
Stakeholders serve a minimum two-year term of service and must be available to travel to Atlanta for one/two-day peer review committee meetings either in January or June during this term. Additionally, prior to serving as a Stakeholder, they must complete self-paced virtual training sessions.