Aims and achievements

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 over 4.500.000 supporters. 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 600 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 research.

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 1.100 million (*) for research projects conducted at institutions, universities, and hospitals throughout Italy;
  • it has given out more than 45  million (**) for study grants to young researchers;
  • 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.

(*) € 1.152.589.883
(**) € 45.036.642 


AIRC and FIRC together raise funds to support cancer research and outreach activities to educate the public.
In 2017 AIRC and FIRC gave out € 91.168.510 in research grants and in study grants for young researchers


Ultimo aggiornamento domenica 31 dicembre 2017.