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Agence nationale sanitaire et scientifique en cancérologie

Accueil Who are we ? Presentation Objectives


Objectives and Areas of Activity

 Updated on 05/26/2010

The National Cancer Institute works to:

  • Prevent cancer more effectively
  • Diagnose cancer earlier
  • Ensure access to high quality care for all, in line with the principle of equality, and increase accessibility to innovations and advancements
  • Provide information tailored to specific populations, to patients and to professionals
  • Research more effective means of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment

Objectives stipulated in the Law of 9 August 2004

The National Cancer Institute is responsible for co-ordinating activities in the fight against cancer. In this capacity, it pursues the following objectives in particular:


  1. Monitoring and evaluating of the overall fight against cancer system, with specific support from healthcare professionals, healthcare product manufacturers and user representatives
  2. Establishing references for good practices and treatment of cancer as well as certification criteria for healthcare professionals and establishments active in the field of cancer
  3. Providing information to professionals and the public on all cancer-related issues
  4. Participating in the implementation and approval of continuing medical and paramedical training initiatives for professionals and other persons working in the fight against cancer
  5. Implementing, funding and co-ordinating specific research and development initiatives and recognising cancer research entities and organisations that meet the quality criteria, in partnership with the relevant public research bodies
  6. Developing and monitoring joint initiatives between public and private cancer operators in the fields of prevention, epidemiology, screening, research, education, care and evaluation
  7. Participating in the development of European and international initiatives
  8. Producing experts' reports on cancer-related issues, at the request of the relevant ministers.


  • The National Cancer Institute compiles an annual activity report which is distributed to the Government and Parliament.
  • The National Cancer Institute was founded, for an unrestricted period of time, in the form of a public interest group comprised of the Government and public and private legal entities working in the areas of healthcare and cancer research.
  • The director-general, the chair of the Board of Directors and the chair of the scientific board of the National Cancer Institute are appointed by decree for five-year terms.
  • The National Cancer Institute can accept donations and legacies.
  • The National Cancer Institute can issue calls for proposals for five-year research projects.

Areas of activity

INCa is active in four main areas:

Public health


Reducing the number of preventable cancers by addressing risk factors

Improving knowledge of cancer risk factors

Participating in defining and implementing national prevention strategies



Developing early detection, screening and diagnosis
Improving knowledge of screening
Contributing to the implementation of screening policies
Promoting links between screening and care
Participating in the training of and provision of information to professionals


Medical and scientific research

Advancing the national cancer research policy to an international standard
Fostering the emergence of new fields of research
Reducing lead times between discoveries and their therapeutic applications
Supporting clinical research projects to improve treatments
Producing innovative analyses drawing from human and social sciences.

Improving quality of care

Improving quality of care for all people affected by cancer.
Supporting the creation of new organisations more suitable for patients’ needs
Supporting professionals in developing best practices for care
Accelerating patient access to diagnostic and therapeutic advances
Contributing to improving patient quality of life

Information for the public (general population, patients, healthcare professionals)

Providing every person with the means to participate in the fight against cancer
Changing cancer’s public image
Making reference information on cancer available to patients, their friends and family and care providers.
Promoting the development of preventative behaviours/attitudes
Facilitating the observance and adoption of good practices for cancer screening