From the first chemotherapy in 1949 to the newest targeted treatments, breakthrough medicines have transformed cancer care and led to more people surviving cancer than ever before. Between 1988 and 2000, the life expectancy for cancer patients increased by approximately four years, translating to roughly 23 million additional life years and $1.9 trillion in value added to the economy. This important progress reflects breakthroughs across the continuum of care – from screening, early detection, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and now molecularly targeted therapies. To understand how far we have come and what is in store as cancer innovation accelerates, let’s look back at the medical milestones that have changed the face of cancer and are spurring new breakthroughs for the future.
Lakdawalla, Sun, Jena, Reyes, Goldman, Philipson. “An Economic Evaluation of the War on Cancer.” Journal of Health Economics. Vol 29, Issue 3, pages 333 – 346. May 2010.