Bipartisan commitment to investing in biomedical science has led to innovations in cancer research, according to the American Association for Cancer Research’s (AACR’s) recently released annual “Cancer Progress Report.”
The report highlights several areas of progress in cancer prevention and treatment in the U.S. – including the 22 anti-cancer treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between August 2017 and July 2018. The authors also emphasized the impact that research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute has had on the development of new treatment methods.
“The unprecedented progress we are making against cancer has been made possible largely through basic research,” said Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, president of the AACR and deputy director of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “A continued increase in federal funding for both basic, translational, and clinical research will allow us to make major headway moving forward.”
The AACR report notes that, despite these advances, cancer still poses a tremendous challenge. Researchers predict that more than 600,000 Americans will die from cancer in 2018, and the number of new cancer cases will rise from 1.7 million in 2018 to 2.4 million by 2035, due in part to an aging population. Improvements in the diagnosis and management of cancer also have not benefited everyone equally, according to the authors, with cancer health disparities persisting among the U.S. population.
The report concludes by calling on Congress to further increase funding for transformative cancer research. With respect to fiscal year 2019, the AACR requests a $2 billion increase in the NIH budget, a $308 million increase in the FDA budget, full funding for the National Cancer Moonshot and other health research projects, and a Centers for Disease Control budget of at least $517 million.