Visit the Cancer Research 75th Anniversary timeline.

This year Cancer Research celebrates the 75th anniversary of its first publication in 1941 as the flagship journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. The journal's illustrious history can be traced back even further in terms of family lineage to its two predecessors, The American Journal of Cancer (1931–1940) and The Journal of Cancer Research (1916–1930), thereby extending a common arc through a full century of scientific publication. Cancer Research continues to offer its diverse readership a vanguard of the basic, preclinical, clinical, prevention, epidemiologic parts of the field, which become ever more vast in reach, publishing original studies, reviews, and opinion pieces that offer the broadest significance and impact. Under my leadership, the journal has strengthened its interest in manuscripts that offer pathobiologic and translational impact to inform the personal, clinical, and societal problems posed by cancer. The mainstay of Cancer Research remains its sections on molecular and cellular pathobiology, tumor and stem cell biology, therapeutics and targets, and prevention and epidemiology, but it has also added focus on integrated systems and technology, mathematical oncology, and tumor microenvironment and immunology, reflecting deepening trends of the past decade. In particular, efforts to restore Cancer Research as a welcoming venue for the best work in cancer immunology have been successful, helping to propel the recent explosion of interest in this founding part of the field. Studies that uncover important new pathophysiologic insights, as validated at the whole animal or clinical level, that cue a clinical study or new interpretation of clinical data, or that address an urgent or pressing challenge in the field are of greatest interest.

Over the course of its 75-year history, Cancer Research has published over 50,000 articles, changing from a monthly journal to a bimonthly journal in 1987. Befitting its status as one of the most highly cited journals in the field, Cancer Research has recently seen an increase in its Impact Factor, which in 2015 is 9.329, the highest in its recent history. Along with the entire editorial team, I am extremely proud of the continued development of the journal and would like to thank all of the editors and staff who have devoted their exceptional knowledge, experience, time, and energy to it over the years, including my predecessors as Editor-in-Chief, most recently Carlo Croce (serving from 1990 to 1999) and Frank Rauscher III (2000–2009).

As one of the longest standing general audience journals in the field, Cancer Research has served as both witness and handmaiden to the most revolutionary milestones in the battle against malignancy. In 1941, cancer was such a dreaded disease that its name was hardly acknowledged in polite society, and often barely even acknowledged by oncologists to patients or their families. While the battle is not over, enormous progress has been made in the past 75 years in understanding, preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer, all areas where Cancer Research has played an important role in communicating key advances to its broad readership.

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, special content is planned for 2016 to highlight seminal findings published over the years. Specifically, a large panel including many current and former Editors along with distinguished Fellows of the AACR Academy have selected what they feel were some of the most impactful studies published by Cancer Research since its inception. The panel focused on choosing articles to highlight from each decade starting from 1941. Articles chosen by at least two panelists constituted the group from which final choices were made. Given the many important articles that Cancer Research has published over the years, these choices can not help but be more contemporaneously illustrative of the scope and excellence of the journal's work rather than a definitively authoritative syllabus. To reintroduce these seminal publications, expert leaders in the relevant fields of the work will be asked to write short commentaries describing why the research was important and how the field evolved after the findings were published. This special content will appear in all issues of Cancer Research throughout the 2016 calendar year and will cover a total of 48 publications. As they are published, the commentaries will be presented online in an interactive timeline that can be found at the Cancer Research homepage (

We hope that all readers will be informed, entertained, and inspired by this retrospective content that will convey the outstanding work of historic significance and impact in Cancer Research. In celebrating our 75th anniversary, we stand in awe of the advances, capabilities, and future potential work to ultimately defeat cancer, as the central mission of AACR. We will continue to dedicate the many talents and resources of the members of our editors, staff, reviewers, and many other supporters in the broader scientific community to be sure Cancer Research continues to serve as a central venue for communications in the field and as a vital forum for publication of the most impactful basic, preclinical, and early translational research.

George C. Prendergast

Editor-in-Chief, Cancer Research