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Cancer Progress Report Finds Record Number of Approvals for Cancer Treatments

September 18, 2019

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) today released its ninth annual Cancer Progress Report, which details cancer trends in the U.S. and reports research progress in cultivating new therapies.

The report states that between August 2018 and July 2019, 27 cancer treatments were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—the highest number in the history of the AACR report. Notably, these treatments included the first molecularly targeted therapeutic approved for treating cancers with a specific genetic biomarker regardless of cancer type, and the first immunotherapeutic for use in the treatment of breast cancer.

The report also noted several significant demographic shifts in the cancer patient population:

  • The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. reached a record high of more than 16.9 million on January 1, 2019.
  • The number of new cancer cases in the U.S. is predicted to rise to more than 2.3 million in 2040, due to population growth and because the segment that accounts for the majority of cancer diagnoses in the U.S.—people age 65 and older—is growing.
  • Nearly 20 percent of U.S. cancer diagnoses are related to excess body weight, alcohol intake, poor diet, and physical inactivity.
  • Obesity alone is responsible for approximately 8 percent of cancer cases among U.S. adults age 30 and older.

The report argues that the continuing prevalence of cancer in the U.S. and its social implications underscore the need for adequate funding for cancer research and the development of new approaches to prevention, early detection, and treatment. It specifically calls on elected leaders to:

  • Provide an increase of at least $2.5 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health in fiscal year 2020, for a total funding level of at least $41.6 billion
  • Provide funding of at least $555 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cancer Prevention and Control Programs. These funds can support comprehensive cancer control, cancer registries, and screening and awareness programs for specific cancers.

For more information about the findings of AACR’s 2019 Cancer Progress Report, and to access the entire text of the report, visit the report’s home page.

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