HEALTH NEWS AND NOTES
Progress Against Cancer
(NAPSI)—Significant advances against cancer have resulted in a steadily declining cancer death rate for Americans over the past 25 years, according to the seventh annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Cancer Progress Report.
The 2017 report, which provides an overview of the latest advances in cancer research, prevention and treatment, calls for robust government funding of biomedical research so that the research community can continue to make progress against cancer.
"This is an incredibly exciting time for the cancer community," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. "Research has fueled advances across the continuum of cancer care that are saving lives around the world, and we have the scientific knowledge and capability to deliver more lifesaving progress in the future."
According to the report, the
Numerous factors have contributed to improved survival, including earlier detection and many new treatment options. In the past year alone, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nine new anticancer drugs. Also, it expanded approval of eight previously approved drugs, allowing them to be used to treat additional types of cancer.
One of the approvals was for a drug for patients with any type of solid tumor containing a certain biomarker or genetic feature. All previous approvals had been based on the location of cancer in the body. The drug, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), is an immunotherapeutic that has brought significant benefit to many patients, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
AACR leaders cautioned that while new drug approvals and improving survival
rates are signs of tremendous progress against cancer, there is still much
work to be done. More than 600,920 people in the
"Cancer continues to exert an immense personal and economic toll," the authors wrote, adding that the burden is shouldered disproportionately by certain segments of the population, including racial and ethnic minorities, patients of lower socioeconomic status, residents of certain geographic locations, and the elderly. This gap, known as a health disparity, is an area of growing research.
To accelerate the pace of progress against cancer, the report calls for
The Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot, an initiative launched by former Vice President Joe Biden with the guidance of numerous AACR leaders, must also receive support as it takes aim at reducing the nation's burden of cancer, the report said.
"As research has taught us more about the biology of cancer, we have
been able to make incredible advances in cancer prevention and treatment that
are saving lives today," said Michael A. Caligiuri, M.D., president of
the AACR and chief executive officer of the
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