The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has released its annual Cancer Progress Report.
Key advancements in the report include:
Twenty-two treatments for cancer were approved for the first time by the US FDA or approved for new types of cancer between August 1st 2017, and July 31st.
The U.S. cancer death rate declined by 26% for adults from 1991–2015, a reduction that translates into almost 2.4 million lives saved, according to the latest data.
The cigarette smoking rate among U.S. adults has fallen to 14%, down from 42% in 1965.
“The unprecedented progress we are making against cancer has been made possible largely through basic research,” explained AACR President Elizabeth M. Jaffee (Johns Hopkins University, MD, USA). “A continued increase in federal funding for both basic, translational, and clinical research will allow us to make major headway moving forward.”
In addition to advancements, the report also emphasizes the challenges in tackling the disease:
The number of new cancer cases in the US is predicted to rise from more than 1.7 million in 2018 to almost 2.4 million in 2035, due largely to the increasing number of individuals age 65 or above.
More than 609,000 people in the United States are projected to die from cancer in 2018.
HPV vaccination could prevent nearly all cases of cervical cancer, as well as many cases of oral and anal cancer. Despite this less than 50% of U.S. adolescent’s ages 13–17 are up to date with the recommended vaccination series.
Advances against cancer have not benefited everyone equally. Cancer health disparities are some of the most pressing challenges posed by the disease.
Continue to support robust, sustained, and predictable growth of the NIH budget by providing an increase of at least $2 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2019, for a total funding level of at least $39.1 billion.
Ensure that the $711 million in funding designated through the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiatives, including the National Cancer Moonshot, is fully appropriated in FY 2019 and is supplemental to the healthy increase for the NIH’s base budget.
Increase the FDA base budget in FY 2019 to $3.1 billion, a $308 million increase above its FY 2018 level, to ensure support for regulatory science and accelerate the pace of development of medical products that are safe and effective. Specifically, the AACR supports a funding level of $20 million for the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence in FY 2019.
Support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cancer Prevention and Control Programs with total funding of at least $517 million. This includes funding for comprehensive cancer control, cancer registries, and screening and awareness programs for specific cancers.
“There has never been a time of greater excitement in the cancer field,” Margaret Foti, chief executive officer of the AACR, commented. “The rapid pace and broad scope of the progress against cancer are extraordinary.
“We have the scientific knowledge, cutting-edge technologies, and capability to deliver a new wave of innovations that will stimulate more lifesaving progress. However, if we are to seize these opportunities to further transform cancer care, we must ensure that biomedical research remains a high priority for our nation’s policymakers.”