AACR Cancer Progress Report 2021: Contents

A Message from the AACR – CPR21

A Message from the AACR

We are at an inflection point in cancer research. We now have the scientific knowledge, cutting-edge technologies, and capability to deliver unprecedented advances to cancer patients. Ensuring that medical research remains a high priority for our nation’s policy makers is vital if we are to maintain the momentum against cancer.

Executive Summary – CPR21

Executive Summary

The annual AACR Cancer Progress Report to Congress and the American public is a cornerstone of the AACR’s educational and advocacy efforts. The report highlights how research continues to transform lives and how support for biomedical research is vital if we are to accelerate the pace of progress against cancer for the benefit of individuals everywhere.

50th Anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971 – CPR21

50th Anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971

Years of advocacy by patients and survivors of cancer, researchers, and physicians led to the passage of the National Cancer Act, which launched a national commitment to making progress against cancer by providing the NCI with broad authorities and innovative mechanisms to drive our understanding of this devastating collection of diseases.

Cancer in 2021 – CPR21

Cancer in 2021

In the United States, the overall age-adjusted cancer death rates have decreased by 31 percent from 1991 to 2018, a reduction that translates into 3.2 million cancer deaths avoided. Advances in basic, clinical, translational, and population sciences are the catalysts that drive progress against cancer.

Understanding How Cancer Develops – CPR21

Understanding How Cancer Develops

Cancer is not one disease, but a collection of diseases that arise when the processes which control normal cell growth, division, and life span go awry. The more we know about cancer initiation and progression, the more precisely and effectively we can prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer.

Preventing Cancer: Identifying Risk Factors – CPR21

Preventing Cancer: Identifying Risk Factors

In the United States, four out of 10 cancer cases are associated with preventable risk factors, including tobacco or alcohol use, poor diet, physical inactivity, exposure to UV radiation, and infection with certain pathogens.

Screening for Early Detection – CPR21

Screening for Early Detection

Breakthroughs in understanding how cancer develops and progresses are facilitating the development of cancer screening tests that can detect cancer at its earliest stage before it has spread to other sites.

Discovery Science Driving Clinical Breakthroughs – CPR21

Discovery Science Driving Clinical Breakthroughs

Breakthroughs across the spectrum of cancer science and medicine are improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients. These advances are driven by concerted efforts from stakeholders working throughout the medical research cycle.

Supporting Cancer Patients and Survivors – CPR21

Supporting Cancer Patients and Survivors

As of 2019, more than five percent of the U.S. population is living with a history of cancer. Each cancer survivor faces a unique set of challenges; additional research is needed to develop new technologies and intervention strategies for coordinated care that meets their individual needs.

Looking to the Future – CPR21

Looking to the Future

The next generation of biomedical technologies will accelerate the pace at which we understand, detect, diagnose, and treat cancer.

Combating Cancer Through Science-based, Patient-centered Policies – CPR21

Combating Cancer Through Science-based, Patient-centered Policies

Policies and federally funded public health programs can improve public health and reduce cancer risk while also ensuring that individuals have access to preventive services, screening, and coverage for cancer treatment.

The AACR Call to Action – CPR21

The AACR Call to Action

The extraordinary advances against cancer detailed in this report were made possible by investment in biomedical research. To continue this progress, the AACR calls on Congress to provide robust, sustained, and predictable annual funding increases for NIH, NCI, FDA, and CDC in FY 2022 and beyond.

AACR Cancer Progress Report 2021 Steering Committee – CPR21

AACR Cancer Progress Report 2021 Steering Committee

The AACR is grateful to the members of the Steering Committee for the expert guidance in the development of this report.