(HealthDay News) — The age-adjusted US cancer death rate decreased 25% from 1991 to 2014, which translates into 2.1 million fewer cancer deaths, according to an annual progress report published by the American Association for Cancer Research.
The AACR Cancer Progress Report 2017 provides an overview of the progress being made because of research, as well as the need for continued research innovation.
According to the report, a rapid pace of research in the field of immunology has facilitated development of lifesaving immunotherapeutics. As of July 2017, immunotherapeutics were approved for treating 7 different types of cancer and for treatment of solid tumors characterized by the presence of a specific molecular signature or biomarker. New and expanded uses for immunotherapeutics include for Lynch syndrome, Merkel cell carcinoma, and head and neck cancer. From Aug 1, 2016, to July 31, 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration approved 9 new anticancer therapeutics, a new optical imaging agent to help visualize cancerous tissue during surgery, and new uses for 8 previously approved therapeutics. New therapeutics targeting specific molecules involved in the cancer process include a PARP inhibitor for ovarian cancer, a PDGFR-alpha-targeted therapeutic for soft tissue sarcoma, and the first FLT3 inhibitor for acute myeloid leukemia.
“As research has taught us more about the biology of cancer, we have made incredible advances in cancer treatment and prevention that are saving lives today,” Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, president of the AACR, said in a statement.