I am pleased to announce that this issue of Clinical Cancer Research (CCR) has an online supplement, the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2015, which is freely available on the journal website (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org).
The annual AACR Cancer Progress Report is a cornerstone of the efforts of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to educate the public about cancer and the importance of biomedical research and advocate for increased federal funding for the NIH, NCI, and FDA.
This year marks a milestone for the AACR Cancer Progress Report—it is the fifth anniversary of the report. Each edition of the report contains information of interest to the research community and the general public, and all five editions are freely available to CCR readers and the general public on the report website (http://www.cancerprogressreport.org), where print copies can be requested.
This year's report chronicles how advances in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment, approved by the FDA between August 1, 2014, and July 31, 2015, are transforming lives, including the lives of the 13 individuals who share their experiences with cancer in the report. It also contains a special section showcasing advances made against cancer in the 5 years of publishing the report. The progress highlighted in the report illustrates how unwavering, bipartisan support from Congress and the administration, in the form of increased funding for the NIH, NCI, and FDA, is vital if we are to accelerate the pace at which we make lifesaving progress against cancer.
The report has eight main sections. The first section, “Cancer in 2015,” provides an overview of the current situation: Research has powered substantial progress against cancer, but the disease continues to exert a huge personal and financial toll both nationally and internationally. The second section, “Developing Cancer,” is a comprehensive overview of the biology of cancer that provides the foundation for health care advances against the disease.
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the report, the third section is a special feature highlighting the incredible advances that have been made against cancer in the 5 years since the inception of the report. As is delineated in this section, the pace of progress accelerated significantly during this short period. In fact, the number of molecularly targeted therapeutics for the treatment of cancer more than doubled, compared with progress over the prior 40 years. Discoveries in the fields of cancer genomics and immunology were particularly fruitful and show immense promise for the future.
The fourth section, “Preventing Cancer From Developing,” highlights the most prominent preventable causes of cancer and the need for each person to consult with his or her health care practitioners to develop a personalized cancer screening plan.
The main section of the report, “Transforming Lives Through Precision Medicine,” describes recent advances across the continuum of clinical cancer care, from cancer prevention to management of cancer survivorship issues. Highlighted in detail are the scientific bases for the new cancer prevention vaccine, new cancer screening test, and nine new anticancer therapeutics approved by the FDA between August 1, 2014, and July 31, 2015. Most of these therapeutics target cancer more precisely than do traditional chemotherapeutics and are therefore often less toxic.
As emphasized in the sixth section, “What Progress Does the Future Hold?” as our knowledge about cancer grows, we will see an increase in the use of precision medicine approaches across the spectrum of cancer care. However, as discussed in the seventh section of the report, “Building Blocks to Further Precision Medicine,” future progress is dependent on research that will continue to expand our understanding of cancer and how to apply it for patient benefit. This research will only be possible by investing in research talent, tools, and infrastructure, and by advancing regulatory policies that support endeavors across the spectrum of biomedical research.
Federal support for the NIH, NCI, and FDA has made possible much of the remarkable progress against cancer detailed in the five editions of report. Thus, the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2015 concludes with a rallying cry to all Americans to join the AACR in urging Congress and the administration to implement a strategy for providing annual budget increases of at least 7% for the NIH, NCI, and FDA.
In brief, this report highlights how many lives are being transformed by research. However, it also reminds us that we must invest more time, effort, and resources if we are to accelerate the pace at which we make progress against cancer and bring hope to patients and their loved ones everywhere.
- Received August 14, 2015.
- ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.