Our mission is to outsmart cancer by providing world-class scientists with the equipment they need to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer.
ACRF was founded in 1984 by the late Sir Peter Abeles and the late Lady Sonia McMahon. Thanks to our generous supporters, we have awarded 75 grants totalling almost $160 million to world-class Australian research initiatives.
There has been great progress in research into many cancers in the last few years; however, more funds are needed to ensure that researchers have the latest and most sophisticated equipment they need to help outsmart cancer.
The donations we receive go to research with the power to outsmart cancer. Our esteemed Medical Research Advisory Committee ensures that only the most promising cancer research initiatives in Australia receive our funding.
Why the Crab?
The crab as a symbol of cancer
Cancer and the crab have been linked since the early days of medicine. The origin of the word cancer has been linked to the Greek physician Hippocrates (460 – 370 BCE), who is considered by many to be the Father of Medicine. Hippocrates used the term ‘karcinos’ (the word for crab) to describe a tumour, because the blood vessels which surround a tumour are crab-like in shape.
The Roman physician, Celsus (28-50 BCE) later translated the Greek term into cancer – the latin word for crab – while another Roman physician, Galen (130 – 200 CE Common Era) used the word ‘oncos’ (Greek for swelling) to describe tumours. Although the crab analogy of Hippocrates and Celsus is still used to describe malignant tumors (eg. carcinoma), Galen’s term is now used to refer to the specialist study of cancer, oncology.