The Pap Corps’ History

The Pap Corps’ rich history extends six decades. Learn about The Pap Corps inspiration, early roots and its partnership with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Papanicolaou - Papanikolaou

Our Inspiration

In 1928, Dr. George Papanicolaou, a pioneer in early cancer detection, introduced the world to a technique used to diagnose cervical cancer that he called “the Pap smear”. In 1952, he convinced the National Cancer Institute to conduct a massive trial using his Pap smear technique.

Also, in 1952, a small group of courageous cancer cure activists driven by the lack of early detection and treatment of cancer, formed a group whose single goal was to raise money for the Dade County Cancer Institute. The NCI trials continued and eventually led to the Pap Test, which saved countless women’s lives. At the same time, the cancer activists continued raising funds for researchers to fight all types of cancer at what had become the Miami Cancer Research Institute. In 1961, Dr. Papanicolaou was invited to Miami to lead and develop the Institute which was renamed the Papanicolaou Cancer Research Institute in 1962. The cancer activists formally became The Papanicolaou Women’s Corps and are now known as The Pap Corps Champions for Cancer Research.

The Sylvester Connection

When Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center opened at the University of Miami Medical School in 1992, the Papanicolaou Laboratories were already located at the medical school campus. Throughout all of the growth, The Pap Corps has been there raising funds for all types of cancer research—an effort that has successfully continued to this day. And now, as we celebrate our 70th anniversary, The Pap Corps has grown to over 20,000 women and men across 50 chapters throughout South Florida, raising over $110 million.