Between August 1, 2021, and July 31, 2022, FDA approved eight new anticancer therapeutics, 10 previously approved therapeutics for treating new cancer types, and two new diagnostic imaging agents. As a result of research-driven advances, there are now more than 18,000,000 cancer survivors living in the U.S.
AACR Cancer Progress Report 2022: Contents
In the U.S., the age-adjusted overall cancer death rate has been steadily declining since the 1990s, translating into nearly 3.5 million cancer deaths avoided. Research is the driving force behind this progress, catalyzing every advance in cancer science and medicine and every policy to improve public health.
Cancer is a collection of diseases characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Cancer development is strongly influenced by genetic mutations and by interactions of cancer cells with the tumor microenvironment. Identification of the alterations that drive cancer are a vital part of cancer care and the basis of precision medicine.
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. Systemic inequities have led to a disproportionately higher burden of risk factors among medically underserved populations.
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. There are substantial opportunities to save lives by developing early detection of cancer types with high mortality rates.
Breakthroughs in cancer science and medicine are improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients. These advances are catalyzed by years-long cross disciplinary collaborations among stakeholders working throughout the medical research cycle.
There are more than 18 million cancer survivors in the U.S. Survivors face unique challenges, including side effects, financial toxicity, reduced quality of life, increased risk of new cancers, and psychosocial obstacles. Coordinated care, support for caregivers, and access to telehealth are critical to successful survivorship.
The next generation of biomedical technologies, including advances in genetic sequencing, immunotherapy, and artificial intelligence, will accelerate the pace at which we understand, detect, diagnose, and treat cancer.
Federally funded research can accelerate the pace of new scientific breakthroughs against cancer, while policies and and public health programs can ensure that the benefits of those advances are shared equitably.
Based on the evidence presented in the report, AACR calls upon Congress to make medical research a long-term strategic priority for our nation, so that all stakeholders in the cancer care continuum can seize the unprecedented scientific opportunities that lie ahead for making strides to eradicate cancer in the U.S. and worldwide.
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 2023 and beyond.
The annual AACR Cancer Progress Report to Congress and the American public is a cornerstone of AACR’s educational efforts. The report highlights how research continues to extend and improve lives and how unwavering, bipartisan support from Congress is urgently needed if we are to realize our vision of eradicating cancer for all populations.
In the last decade, remarkable advances across the spectrum of medical research have led to profound improvements in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment. 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.
2022-2023 AACR President Lisa M. Coussens, MD (hc), PhD, FAACR, serves as the chair of the Steering Committee for the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2022.