May marks National Cancer Research Month, a time to recognize the tireless efforts of scientists, medical professionals, survivors, and patient advocates who devote their lives to cancer advancements. We focus on the life-changing achievements that result from innovation, and shine a spotlight on the need for furthering it.
From revolutionary imaging techniques to preemptive genetic testing, research and innovation have expanded the spectrum of what is possible in oncology. While imaging aids in early detection of diseases, genetic tests help to identify mutations that might put people at a higher risk for certain cancers. In the past two years, we've witnessed innovation in action: between August 2014 and July 2015, the FDA approved nine new anticancer therapeutics, six new uses for previously approved anticancer therapeutics, one new use for an imaging agent, one new cancer screening test, and one new cancer prevention vaccine – all thanks to advancements in research.
And with these advancements comes long-term progress.
By 2026, it's expected that genomics will revolutionize therapies, creating highly effective, non-addictive treatment options. Advances in the analysis of individual cells may decode the immune process, and initiatives such as Cancer Moonshot and Precision Medicine are poised to launch us into a new era of tailored treatments and targeted therapies.
Advancements in research are changing the oncology landscape and powering progress for the future. If we are to continue building upon this progress, however, we must make investments in research. Only with a collaborative effort and an unyielding devotion to innovation will treatment options continue to emerge.