Skip to main content

Funding for Research Areas

The National Cancer Institute reports how appropriated funds are spent based on different categories or classifications, including specific cancer sites, cancer types, diseases related to cancer, as well as types of NCI research mechanisms. The table below identifies funding levels for frequently requested areas of cancer research. 

The research areas in this table do not represent the entire NCI research portfolio. Moreover, funding for research areas often overlap, and therefore the total for all research areas does not add to the total NCI budget. For example, funding for a clinical trial on breast cancer would be included in both the Breast Cancer and the Clinical Trials lines in the table below. Similarly, a basic cancer research project may be relevant to cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancers, and relevant amounts would be included in the amounts for all three areas of cancer research.  

Download the Data

Funding by Research Areas
(Dollars in Millions)
Disease Area 2015 Actual 2016 Actual 2017 Actual 2018 Actual 2019 Estimate 2020 Estimate
Total NCI Budget $4,952.6 $5,206.2 $5,636.4 $5,927.7 $6,440.4 $6,440.4
AIDS 269.7 266.4 249.0 241.2 242.0 242.0
Brain & CNS 204.8 196.3 219.8 220.9 231.7 595.1
Breast Cancer 543.6 519.9 544.9 574.9 545.4 514.7
Cervical Cancer 57.1 65.6 68.8 71.5 86.0 69.4
Clinical Trials 748.0 801.0 806.6 895.7 794.3 233.2
Colorectal Cancer 209.3 212.2 208.4 256.0 238.8 211.6
Head & Neck Cancers 60.2 58.9 46.4 62.4 117.1 49.7
Hodgkin Disease 13.6 12.8 13.0 13.3 12.2 14.3
Leukemia 246.9 241.0 250.5 258.3 256.6 244.5
Liver Cancer 70.3 75.7 72.7 95.9 107.8 96.3
Lung Cancer 255.8 283.8 320.6 350.1 418.8 403.2
Melanoma 132.8 142.9 153.2 158.4 191.9 155.6
Multiple Myeloma 48.9 52.1 60.7 61.5 58.2 43.3
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 122.4 116.7 119.5 121.0 120.4 119.5
Ovarian Cancer 92.8 95.6 110.1 120.8 121.5 116.5
Pancreatic Cancer 125.3 152.6 178.3 182.1 187.0 178.5
Prostate Cancer 228.9 241.0 233.0 239.3 244.8 209.4
Stomach Cancer 13.5 13.3 13.4 14.2 14.8 10.6
Uterine Cancer 13.0 16.8 17.5 17.5 18.0 13.6

These figures were created using NCI's coding methodology. More information about this methodology, as well as the research projects associated with these and other disease area categories, are available on the NCI Funded Research Portfolio website.

The FY 2020 funds available to the NCI totaled $6.4 billion (includes $195 million in CURES Act funding), reflecting an increase of 9.2 percent, or $524 million from the previous fiscal year. Under the NCI RPG funding policy for FY 2020, non-competing grants were awarded with a 3 percent reduction from the committed level. For more information on NCI's grant funding policy, visit the NCI Division of Extramural Activities website.

  • Posted: