The Italian Association for Cancer Research (Associazione
Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro, or AIRC) was founded in 1965 by
a group of researchers at the Istituto Tumori in Milan, including
Umberto Veronesi and Giuseppe della Porta, with invaluable support
from eminent local businesspeople. From the outset, AIRC has been
committed to fostering cancer research in Italy, and has gradually
expanded to include 17 Regional Committees and nearly
1.800.000 members. These are the people whose generosity supports
the association and allows it to exist and move forward.
What AIRC does is to raise funds and give out grants for cancer
research, and keep the public up to date on the latest news in this
field. Fundraising takes place in two forms: 50% through national
and local events designed for the general public and the business
community, and 50% through letters requesting support.
Each year, the funds raised are allocated to research projects
and study grants deemed particularly worthwhile by AIRC's Scientific
Committee made up of oncology experts throughout Italy, who
review and select applications with the help of more than 350
European and American researchers.
In 1977 AIRC set up the Fondazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul
Cancro (FIRC), recognized as a non-profit association in 1980,
for the specific purpose of receiving bequests, legacies and gifts.
Legally separate from but complementary to AIRC, the foundation is
tasked with developing an asset base that ensures the future of
More specifically, AIRC is committed to:
- Funding research carried out at university
labs, hospitals, and scientific institutions.
- Completing the education of young researchers
in Italy and abroad by offering grants for further study.
- Informing the public and raising awareness of
progress in cancer research.
Since its foundation, AIRC has achieved the following:
- it has given out more than € 657 million
(*) for research projects conducted at
institutions, universities, and hospitals throughout Italy;
- it has given out more than € 33 million (**) for study grants to young
- in accordance with its Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws,
it has created a system to inform and raise public awareness of the
latest developments in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment,
mainly through its publication "Fondamentale" (partly
supported by FIRC), and its website.
(**) € 33.929.671
AIRC and FIRC together raise funds to support
cancer research and outreach activities to educate the
In 2010 AIRC and FIRC gave out more than € 89.212.701 million in
research grants and in study grants for young researchers