(HealthDay News) — More Americans are benefiting from immunotherapy, according to the sixth annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Cancer Progress Report.

More types of cancer are being successfully treated with immunotherapy. “The promise of immunotherapy for cancer therapy has never been greater, and the opportunity to make significant progress in this critical area is real,” Nancy Davidson, MD, president of AACR, said in an association news release.

In August 2015, checkpoint inhibitors were approved for just melanoma and lung cancer. About a year later, these drugs were subsequently approved for 4 more types of cancer, including bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and kidney cancer.

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Immunotherapy drugs account for 4 of the 13 new anticancer treatments approved over the past year, the AACR report showed. New uses have also been found for 11 previously approved anticancer drugs. A new cancer screening test, 2 new imaging agents to help diagnose cancer, and a new medical device have all been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, the AACR noted.


1. American Association for Cancer Research Releases 2016 Cancer Progress Report: Research is Saving Lives [press release]. American Association for Cancer Research; Sept 20, 2016.