Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: International Agency for Research on Cancer

The aim of the International Agency for Research on Cancer is to promote international collaboration and interdisciplinarity in cancer research. By bringing together skills in epidemiology, laboratory sciences and biostatistics, it aims to identify causes so that preventive measures can be adopted.

Partners involved:
Medical Research Council (MRC)

The scope and what we're doing

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is an intergovernmental agency that forms part of the United Nations World Health Organization.

IARC’s mission is “cancer research for cancer prevention” and its six research objectives are to:

  • describe the occurrence of cancer
  • understand the causes of cancer
  • evaluate and implement cancer prevention and control strategies
  • increase the capacity for cancer research
  • provide strategic leadership and enhance the impact of the agency′s contribution to global cancer research
  • enable and support the efficient conduct and coordination of research.

Cancer research

IARC promotes international collaboration and interdisciplinarity in cancer research. By bringing together skills in epidemiology, laboratory sciences and biostatistics, the agency aims to identify the causes of cancer so that preventive measures may be adopted and the burden of disease and associated suffering reduced.

A significant feature of IARC is its expertise in coordinating research across countries and organisations. This is facilitated by its independent role as an international organisation. One of the products of IARC’s coordinating role is an increasingly important biobank, which currently contains more than 10 million well-characterised samples from 1 million subjects from around the world.

Opportunities, support and resources available

Training opportunities

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) funds cancer research through a variety of schemes including:

Governance, management and panels

IARC governance

IARC’s general policy is directed by a governing council, composed of the representatives of participating states and of the Director-General of the World Health Organization. MRC represents the UK and Northern Ireland through the governing council.

Last updated: 17 October 2022

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