The French National Cancer Institute

The French National Cancer Institute (INCa) was established under the French Public Health Act of August 9, 2004, as the State health and science agency specialised in cancer control.

This Public Interest Group (GIP) includes State representatives, charities, health insurance funds, hospital federations and research organisations.

The Institute operates under the dual auspices of the French Ministry of Health and Solidarities and the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. It provides an integrated approach encompassing all cancer-control aspects (health, scientific, social and economic) and intervention areas (prevention, screening, care, research) to benefit patients and their relatives.

To catalyse progress, the INCa acts as an interface with patients, their friends and families, the healthcare system users, the general public, healthcare professionals, researchers, experts and decision-makers.

The cancer control Strategy 2021-2030

In February 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled the ten-year cancer control Strategy (2021-2030) built together by the Institute and the French cancer community and the French citizens through a national consultation.

This ambitious Strategy aims to significantly reduce the burden of cancer in the daily lives of French people. It follows on from the successive Cancer Plans and continues the collective mobilisation established on the fight against cancer.

This Strategy revolves around four priorities:

  • to improve prevention;
  • to limit the after-effects and enhance the quality of life;
  • to fight against cancers with poor prognosis;
  • to ensure that progress benefits everyone.

The firm commitments made by the French President and Government around these four ambitious objectives to serve the French society concretise themselves by the means allocated to this Strategy: global funding of nearly €1.74 billion (an increase of almost 20% compared to the previous Cancer Plan), including additional financing of €284 million for the next five years, supplemented by the ministry in charge of Research, the hospital "ONDAM" (national health insurance spending objective) and part of the Institute's funds up to €57 million.

The Institute is entrusted with ensuring the Strategy's implementation by the law of March 8, 2019. It has deployed, from that year onwards, 65 new actions out of more than 240.

The 10-Year cancer control Strategy 2021-2025 roadmap - PDF 1.76 Mo

Our principles & values


We create value by identifying innovations at an early stage, then assessing, supporting and disseminating them to benefit both patients and the community.

Cohesive approach

We foster an integrated approach to ensure consistency between public health efforts, cancer care organisations, and research advances.

Shared leadership

We involve all the stakeholders in our work processes to maximise our action's impact by listening attentively and responding to each of our target groups.


We apply a continuous improvement approach to the quality of our expertise. We conduct a systematic assessment of all our actions and their impacts.

Forward-thinking approach

We endeavour to anticipate and stimulate advances in all aspects of cancer control, whether scientific, medical, organisational or technological, to benefit patients.


We aim to deliver the best possible service to all beneficiaries: patients, their relatives, health professionals, researchers, public and institutional decision-makers, and the community as a whole.

Our missions

  • Provide an integrated approach to cancer control;
  • Spur innovation;
  • Produce evidence-based guidelines for decision-makers and professionals;
  • Coordinate regional oncology networks;
  • Analyse data to guide action more effectively;
  • Disseminate knowledge about cancer.

Our strategic goals


  • Support emerging fields: genomic studies, experimental study models, biology and immunology;
  • Translate fundamental discoveries into advances for the benefit of the population and patients as quickly as possible: diagnostic tools, personalised treatments and quality of life;
  • Increase the availability of biological and clinical resources for researchers;
  • Develop clinical trials, in particular, new molecular-driven trials tailored to targeted therapies and more broadly to innovations in drugs or technologies;
  • Strengthen France's leading position in personalised medicine.

Public health

  • Improve knowledge of cancer risk factors;
  • Continuously enhance the organisation of screening by assessing and incorporating scientific and technical advances;
  • Define and adapt screening strategies according to the subject's level of cancer risk;
  • Provide information on the different screening methods;
  • Provide open access to cancer data.

Cancer care

  • Guarantee equal access to safe, high-quality care;
  • Develop relevant care procedures for subjects with rare cancers, people with a genetic predisposition, the elderly, children and teenagers;
  • Support therapeutic and technological developments, as well as career paths in oncology;
  • Inform and support patients, their relatives and friends through a range of services (e-cancer website, guides, hotline);
  • Foster improvements in quality of life during and after cancer treatment.

Senior leadership, boards & groups

Senior leadership

  • Norbert IFRAH, PhD, was appointed President on June 30, 2016. He is also head of the haematology department at the Hospital of Angers.
  • Thierry BRETON has been our managing director since 2015. He is a former member of the “Inspection Générale des Affaires Sociales” (IGAS).

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors includes representatives of all the stakeholders involved in cancer control: representatives of the core Public Interest Group (GIP) members and eight qualified individuals; a total of 27 directors. State representatives hold the majority (60 per cent) of the votes. The Board decides on the Institute's overall strategy.

Scientific Board

The International Scientific Advisory Board is composed of world-known cancer experts appointed by the Ministries for Health and for Research. It gives advice and recommendations and attends to the consistency of the medical and scientific strategy. Its members meet up to twice a year.

The INCa's president and managing director, head of the Board of Directors and head of the Scientific Board are all appointed for five-year terms by decree.

Read our latest Scientific Report (2019)

General Assembly

Our General Assembly gathers 12 representatives of the Public Interest Group (GIP). Half of them are appointed by the French government.

The General Assembly deliberates over such things as amendments to the Institute's constitutional convention and the acceptance, or the exclusion, of a member.

Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee is a permanent consultative body whose members are appointed by the Board of Directors. It comprises seven people, including one representative of the Health Democracy Committee (see below). It aims to advise the Board of Directors on all deontology- and ethics-related topics. Also, a deontologist was appointed in 2016.

Health Democracy Committee

The Health Democracy Committee is a permanent consultative body positioned close to the presidency and reporting to the Board of Directors. It was created in 2012 to replace two distinct bodies which had hitherto existed: the Committee of Patients, Friends and Family and Users (CMPU) and the Advisory Committee of Health Professionals (CCPS). This change aims at fostering the health democracy process through direct dialogue between stakeholders. This committee has regular workshop meetings at the Institute.

Our resources

The Institute has an annual budget of approximately €100 million. Most of it is provided by the ministries for Health and for Research, contributions from other GIP members and funds from partnerships with public and private organisations. About half of this budget is allocated to research funding. The rest is allocated to healthcare initiatives, public health and public information.