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Thanks to federal investments in cancer research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Americans are more likely to survive being diagnosed with cancer and to enjoy a better quality of life than in previous years. This news came as part of the recently issued American Association for Cancer Research's (AACR’s) fourth annual Cancer Progress Report.

"Research has transformed the lives of millions of individuals," said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD, chief executive officer of the AACR, in a prepared statement. "However, we need more progress because it is unacceptable that one American will die of cancer every minute of every day this year. Cancer survivors, … as well as those who are projected to receive a cancer diagnosis in the future, are depending on our nation's policymakers to make funding for biomedical research a national priority."

Other findings from the report:

  • Nearly 14.5 million cancer survivors live in the United States; almost 380,000 of them were diagnosed with cancer during childhood or adolescence.
  • Six anticancer therapeutics and new uses for five previously approved anticancer therapies were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between Aug. 1, 2013, and July 31, 2014. Also, the FDA approved two imaging agents for cancer-related uses, as well as a screening test that was previously approved.
  • Precision medicine continues to benefit from research, with five of six new anticancer therapies being molecularly targeted agents.
  • Certain types of cancer have three or more treatment options that are molecularly targeted—an option if cancer recurs or doesn’t respond to the primary therapy.
  • Genomics research is considered to be “the foundation for novel clinical trials designed to accelerate the pace at which new therapeutics are approved for patient care,” according to a summary of the report.
  • Cancer immunotherapeutics are “continuing to yield remarkable, long-lasting patient responses in several types of cancer,” according to the summary.

Read the full report online​.