NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NCI/
National Cancer Institute: NCI Legislative Chronology
February 4, 1927--Senator M. M. Neely, West Virginia, introduced S. 5589, "To
authorize a reward for the discovery of a successful cure for cancer, and to create a
commission to inquire into and ascertain the success of such cure." The reward was to
be $5 million.
March 7, 1928--Senator M. M. Neely introduced S. 3554, "To authorize the
National Academy of Sciences to investigate the means and methods for affording Federal
aid in discovering a cure for cancer and for other purposes."
April 23, 1929--Senator W. J. Harris, Georgia, introduced S. 466, "To
authorize the Public Health Service and the National Academy of Sciences jointly to
investigate the means and methods for affording Federal aid in discovering a cure for
cancer and for other purposes."
May 29, 1929--Senator W. J. Harris introduced S. 4531, authorizing a survey in
connection with the control of cancer and providing "That the Surgeon General of the
Public Health Service is authorized and directed to make a general survey in connection
with the control of cancer and submit a report thereon to the Congress as soon as
practicable, together with his recommendations for necessary Federal legislation."
April 2, 1937--Senator Homer T. Bone of Washington introduced S. 2067,
"Authorizing the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service to control and prevent
the spread of the disease of cancer." It authorized an annual appropriation of $1
April 12, 1937--Congressman Warren G. Magnuson of Washington introduced H.R. 6100,
a bill identical to S. 2067.
April 29, 1937--Congressman Maury Maverick of Texas introduced H.R. 6767, "To
promote research in the cause, prevention, and methods of diagnosis and treatment of
cancer, to provide better facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, to
establish a National Cancer Center in the Public Health Service, and for other
purposes." It authorized an appropriation of $2,400,000 for the first year and $1
million annually thereafter. The legal office of PHS had helped draft the bill on the
basis of suggestions made by Dr. Dudley Jackson of San Antonio, Tex.
July 8, 1937--A joint hearing of the Senate and House committees was conducted
before a subcommittee on cancer research and a revised bill was written.
July 23, 1937--The National Cancer Institute Act was passed by Congress.
August 5, 1937--The National Cancer Institute Act, P.L. 244, 75th Congress, was
signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "To provide for, foster, and aid in
coordinating research relating to cancer; to establish the National Cancer Institute; and
for other purposes." An appropriation of $700,000 for each fiscal year was
March 28, 1938--House Joint Resolution 468, 75th Congress, was passed, "To
dedicate the month of April in each year to a voluntary national program for the control
July 1, 1944--The Public Health Service Act, P.L. 410, 78th Congress, provided that
"The National Cancer Institute shall be a division in the National Institute of
Health." The act also revised and consolidated many revisions into a single law. The
limit of $700,000 annual appropriation was removed.
August 15, 1950--Public Law 692, 81st Congress, increased the term of office of
National Advisory Cancer Council members from 3 to 4 years and the size of the Council
from 6 to 12 members, exclusive of the ex officio members.
December 23, 1971--President Nixon signed P.L. 92-218-the National Cancer Act of
1971--providing increased authorities and responsibilities for the NCI director;
initiating a National Cancer Program; establishing a 3-member Presidents Cancer
Panel and a 23-member National Cancer Advisory Board, the latter replacing the National
Advisory Cancer Council; authorizing the establishment of 15 new research, training, and
demonstration cancer centers; establishing cancer control programs as necessary for
cooperation with state and other health agencies in the diagnosis, prevention, and
treatment of cancer; and providing for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of all
data useful in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, including the
establishment of an international cancer data research bank.
July 23, 1974--The National Cancer Act Amendments of 1974 (P.L. 93-352) were signed
by the President to improve the National Cancer Program and to authorize appropriations
for the next three fiscal years. P.L. 93-352 also included provisions for disseminating
information on nutrition as related to the therapy or causation of cancer, for trials of
cytology test programs for the diagnosis of uterine cancer, and for peer review of grant
applications and contract projects. It also established a Presidents Biomedical
August 1, 1977--The NCI mandate was extended for 1 year when the President signed
the Health Planning and Health Services Research and Statistics Extension Act (P.L.
November 9, 1978--The President signed the Community Mental Health Centers Act
(P.L. 95-622) amending the National Cancer Act to emphasize education and demonstration
programs in cancer treatment and prevention, and stipulating that NCI devote more
resources to prevention, focusing particularly on environmental, dietary and occupational
December 17, 1980--The Health Programs Extension Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-538) was
signed into law, extending NCI authorization for 3 years.
November 20, 1985--The Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-158) was
signed into law. It affirmed the special authorities of NCI and emphasized the importance
of information dissemination to the public.
November 4, 1988--The Health Research Extension Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-607) was
signed into law. The 2-year extension reaffirmed the special authorities of NCI and added
information dissemination mandates, as well as a requirement to assess the incorporation
of cancer treatments into clinical practice and the extent to which cancer patients
receive such treatments. A representative from the Department of Energy was added to the
National Cancer Advisory Board as an ex officio member.
June 10, 1993--The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, P.L. 103-43, was signed. The act
encouraged NCI to expand and intensify its efforts in breast cancer and other womens
cancers and authorized increased appropriations. Similar language is included for prostate
cancer. The institute is also directed to collaborate with NIEHS, to undertake a case
control study to assess biological markers of environmental and other potential risk
factors contributing to the incidence of breast cancer in specific counties in the
Northeast. In FY 1994 NCI is directed to allocate 7 percent of its appropriation to cancer
control, in FY 1995, 9 percent, and in FY 1996, 10 percent.