Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

By: E. F. Untermeyer

Type: General Entry

Published: February 1, 1996

The Texas Cancer Council, predecessor to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, was established in September 1985 by the Sixty-ninth Texas Legislature to develop and implement the Texas Cancer Plan. Its mandate was to monitor and update the plan and to promote effective statewide policies, programs, and services for people with cancer. The council worked to motivate health care providers to actively prevent cancer as part of their everyday practices, increased access to cancer prevention information prepared for the state's culturally diverse population, took cancer prevention into schools, made lung cancer prevention a priority, expanded screening and detection for underserved Texans, and provided access to and analysis of cancer statistics and information on resources. The council worked with public, private, and volunteer groups to reduce the human and economic impact of cancer on Texans. The council had sixteen members; the speaker of the House of Representatives appointed one member of the House and the lieutenant governor appointed one member of the Senate to the council. The governor, the lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the House each appointed one physician active in cancer treatment, one representative of a voluntary health organization interested in cancer, one representative of a hospital that treats cancer patients, and one member of the general public. Two ex-officio members included the chairman of the Texas Board of Health and the chairman of the Texas Board of Human Services, or their designees. Except for the legislative members and the ex-officio members, council members served six-year staggered terms. The governor designated the chairperson, and the council members met quarterly, with the administrative work of the council carried out by a small salaried staff headed by an executive director. More than thirty programs were funded by the council in 1993. Publications, videos, and other educational materials were produced for public use by the council or its contractors, including a quarterly newsletter entitled Focus on Cancer.

In November 2007 a constitutional amendment was approved, and the Texas Cancer Council became the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The amendment authorized the issue of bonds to support scientific research of human cancers. The institute is to use those funds to provide grants to implement the Texas Cancer Plan, for research, and to establish standards and oversight bodies. Up to $300 million a year in bonds, not to exceed $3 billion total, may be authorized to support the institute's mission. The board, or oversight committee, has eleven members—three each appointed by the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the house of representatives, as well as the state comptroller, or designee, and the attorney general, or designee. These members each serve four-year terms. CPRIT funds projects in prevention, early detection and treatment, professional education, cancer research, and assistance for survivors. For fiscal year 2009, CPRIT listed 17 funded projects.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

E. F. Untermeyer, “Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1996