Between 1990 and 2007, death rates in the U.S. for all cancers combined decreased by 22% for men and 14% for women, resulting in 898,000 fewer deaths from the disease during this time period (ACS, Facts & Figures, 2011). Today, more than 68% of adults are living 5 or more years after initial diagnosis, up from 50% in 1975; and the 5-year survival rate for all childhood cancers combined is 80% vs. 52% in 1975 (SEER, NCI). As a result of our Nation’s investments in cancer and biomedical research, about 12 million cancer survivors are alive in the U.S. today, and 15% of these cancer survivors were diagnosed 20 or more years ago.
Our unprecedented progress against cancer is the result of extraordinary advances in research, combined with both visionary public health policy and the passionate work of survivor and patient advocates. For example, the translation of fundamental discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic has produced over 30 FDA-approved molecularly targeted drugs that are less toxic and more effective in treating a number of cancers... -- AACR Cancer Progress Report 2011 [PDF]
At the conference, I heard about amazing progress being made towards modeling neurological disease, regenerating heart tissue, growing kidneys, and even curing HIV.
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