Federally funded research continues to spur progress against cancer; however, accelerating the pace of progress will require robust, sustained, and predictable annual funding increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Additionally, strong financial support for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative is required, according to the sixth annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Cancer Progress Report, released today.
One of the most exciting new approaches to cancer treatment is cancer immunotherapy. As detailed in the report, the utility of immunotherapy is expanding rapidly. For example, on Aug. 1, 2015, one class of immunotherapeutics, checkpoint inhibitors, was initially approved for just two types of cancer—melanoma and lung cancer. As of Sept. 1, 2016, checkpoint inhibitors have been approved for treating six types of cancer—bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma.
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