American Association for Cancer Research Releases Its 2018 Annual Report

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Key advances highlighted in the AACR report include a decline in the US cancer death rate among adults.
Key advances highlighted in the AACR report include a decline in the US cancer death rate among adults.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) released its annual report for 2018. The report highlights advances made in cancer treatments, population-based statistics and estimates, and calls on the US Congress to continue its support of cancer research institutions, according to a news release from the AACR.

“There has never been a time of greater excitement in the cancer field,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR, in the release.

Key advances highlighted in the report include a decline in the US cancer death rate among adults, 26% from 1991 to 2015; 22 new cancer treatments or new indications for approved treatments from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and a decline in cigarette smoking among US adults due to public education and policy initiatives, from 42% in 1965 to 14%.

The report also points to ongoing public health challenges: new cancer cases are predicted to increase to almost 2.4 million in 2035, largely attributed to the increasing older population; the number of cancer-related deaths in the United States is estimated to be more than 609,000 in 2018; although HPV vaccination could substantially reduce the number of cervical, oral, and anal cancers, less than 50% of US adolescents are up-to-date with the recommended vaccine series; and disparities in care among people with cancer are some of the most significant challenges posed by the disease.

Lastly, AACR's report calls on Congress for continued and increased financial support for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including ensure that funding designated through the 21st Century Cures Act is fully appropriated and is supplemental to the requested increase to the NIH base budget; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including funding for comprehensive cancer control, cancer registries, and screening and awareness programs for specific cancers; and the FDA, specifically an AACR-supported funding level of $20 million for the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence in FY 2019.

“The rapid pace and broad scope of the progress against cancer are extraordinary. We have the scientific knowledge, cutting-edge technologies, and capability to deliver a new wave of innovations that will stimulate more lifesaving progress. However, if we are to seize these opportunities to further transform cancer care, we must ensure that biomedical research remains a high priority for our nation's policymakers,” Dr Foti said in a concluding comment.

AACR is the largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure all cancers. The organization was founded in 1907, and its membership includes more than 40,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other healthcare professionals; and patient advocates residing in 120 countries. AACR is the scientific partner of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C).

Reference

AACR releases annual cancer progress report. Philadelphia, PA: American Association for Cancer Research; September 12, 2018. https://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Pages/News-Release-Detail.aspx?ItemID=1219. Accessed September 17, 2018.

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