Harnessing Research Discoveries to Save Lives

American Association for Cancer Research Issues Cancer Progress Report 2017


The AACR Cancer Progress Report 2017 details how individuals working across the spectrum of cancer science from basic to translational to clinical and population research are fueling the development of new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat cancer. They are providing new hope to cancer patients, survivors, and their family members and friends, including the eight individuals who have shared their personal experiences with cancer in the report.

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Progress highlighted in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2017 includes:

  • According to the latest data, the U.S. cancer death rate declined by 35 percent from 1991 to 2014 for children and by 25 percent for adults, a reduction that translates into 2.1 million cancer deaths avoided.
  • Between Aug. 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017, the FDA approved nine new anticancer therapeutics and eight previously approved anticancer therapeutics for treating new types of cancer.
  • Two of the new anticancer therapeutics are in a class of immunotherapeutics called checkpoint inhibitors, revolutionary treatments that are increasing survival and improving quality of life for patients with an increasing number of types of cancer.
  • Research discoveries continue to advance precision medicine: Seven of the new anticancer therapeutics are molecularly targeted agents.
  • Thanks to public education and policy initiatives, total U.S. adult cigarette consumption, which is the leading cause of lung cancer, decreased by 38.7 percent from 2000 to 2015.

The report emphasizes that even though significant advances have been made, cancer continues to exert an immense personal and economic toll, and that the burden of cancer is shouldered disproportionately by certain segments of the population, including racial and ethnic minorities, patients of lower socioeconomic status, residents in certain geographic locations, and the elderly.

According to the report:

  • More than 600,920 people in the United States are projected to die from cancer in 2017.
  • The number of new cases of cancer in the United States is predicted to rise from 1.7 million in 2017 to 2.3 million in 2030.
  • HPV vaccination could prevent nearly all cases of cervical cancer, as well as many cases of oral and anal cancer, but only 63 percent of girls and less than 50 percent of boys had received at least one dose of HPV vaccine in 2015.
  • Advances against cancer have not benefited everyone equally and cancer health disparities are some of the most pressing challenges posed by the disease.
  • It is estimated that the direct medical costs of cancer care in the United States in 2014 were nearly $87.6 billion; this number, which does not include the indirect costs of lost productivity due to cancer-related morbidity and mortality, stands in stark contrast to the budget that the NIH received that same year, which was $30.1 billion.

The report states that the increasing economic and personal burden of cancer underscores the need for more research to develop new approaches to cancer prevention and treatment.

Go to CancerProgressReport.org to read or download the full AACR Cancer Progress Report 2017.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is a 501c3 registered nonprofit organization with offices at 615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | 215.440.9300