World Cancer Research Day: New Global Statistics Highlight the Need for Research

Today, September 24, 2018, is World Cancer Research Day. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is proud to join cancer organizations, associations, and researchers from around the world in supporting this global initiative that aims to raise awareness about the importance of cancer research for saving lives.

As highlighted in the recently released AACR Cancer Progress Report 2018, research is the foundation of progress against cancer. It expands our understanding of the biology of cancer and drives the development of new and better ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat cancer.

In recent years, the pace of research and the rate at which new discoveries are translated to advances in cancer care have increased. Among the advances are the new anticancer therapeutics approved by regulatory agencies around the world. In the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the agency responsible for regulating these agents, and in the 12 months covered by the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2018 it approved 14 new anticancer therapeutics.

Despite the significant progress we are making against cancer, there is a vital need for more research because cancer continues to pose immense public health challenges in the United States and around the world. In fact, a recent publication on the global burden of cancer projects that there will be almost 18.1 million new cancer cases diagnosed worldwide in 2018 and almost 9.6 million deaths from cancer. In addition, the researchers estimate that one in five men and one in six women worldwide will develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in eight men and one in 11 women will die from cancer.

Globally, the number of cancer cases and the number of cancer deaths are expected to increase significantly in the coming decades unless new and more effective approaches to cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment are developed and implemented, as outlined in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2018. This growing global burden of cancer emphasizes the need for initiatives, like World Cancer Research Day, that propel cancer research forward, spurring new lifesaving breakthroughs.