Dr. Nancy Davidson: September 23, 2016

2016 Cancer Progress Report: Research is Saving Lives

AACR Report Provides Latest Advancements in Cancer; Underscores Importance of National Cancer Moonshot Initiative and September’s Blue Ribbon Panel Report Recommendations

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NANCY DAVIDSON, MD

PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR CANCER RESEARCH (AACR), and DIRECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH CANCER INSTITUTE

Federally funded research continues to spur progress against cancer.  According to the sixth annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Cancer Progress Report accelerating the pace of progress will require robust, sustained, and predictable increases in federal investments in biomedical research as well as strong support for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Cancer Research is saving lives. One of the most exciting new approaches to cancer treatment is cancer immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment designed to harness a patient’s natural immune defense system to fight his or her cancer. As detailed in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2016, the utility of immunotherapy is expanding rapidly. For example, on Aug. 1, 2015, one class of immunotherapeutics, checkpoint inhibitors, was approved was for just two types of cancer—melanoma and lung cancer. Just over a year later, checkpoint inhibitors are now approved for treating six types of cancer—bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma.

Vice President Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative has reinvigorated discussion around the quest to cure and prevent the more than 200 diseases we call cancer. Earlier this month, the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel—20 of 28 panelists are members of the AACR—released its report with 10 recommendations that can help achieve the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force’s mission to achieve in just five years what would be expected to take ten years.  The AACR and its members have and will continue to provide expert guidance to accomplish this goal. The AACR remains totally committed to supporting Vice President Biden and his team in all facets of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Progress highlighted in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2016 includes the following:

·         The number of cancer survivors living in the United States rose by 1 million from 2014 to 2016, reaching an estimated record 15.5 million.

·         Between Aug. 1, 2015, and July 31, 2016, the FDA approved 13 new anticancer therapeutics and new uses for 11 previously approved anticancer therapeutics.

·         During the same period, one new cancer screening test, two new diagnostic imaging agents, and a new medical device also received cancer-related FDA approvals.

AACR President Dr. Nancy Davidson is available on Friday, September 23rd to talk to your listeners about key findings from the report, cancer treatment options, the AACR’s role in the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, and why it’s so important to receive funding from Congress.

More About Dr. Nancy E. Davidson:

Nancy E. Davidson, MD, is the President of the American Association of Cancer Research and director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Davidson is a world-renowned breast cancer researcher whose work focuses on clinical and translational breast cancer research and cancer biology and treatment.

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