For people with cancer to enjoy longer, healthier lives, leaps forward in biomedical research are required. Dedicated investigators have advanced the fight against cancer on many fronts over the last year, and we’re happy to share good news about some of the latest developments.
Cancer deaths continue to decline
Each year, an expert group reports on cancer status in the U.S. Last year's update1 brought good news. The overall death rate from cancer decreased yet again, particularly for lung cancer and melanoma, thanks to research advances leading to new targeted treatments and immunotherapies.2
Clinical research expands treatment options
Clinical trials not only offer people with cancer treatment innovations unavailable elsewhere, but also help to move new and better therapies into wide use. Based on results from such studies, last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a targeted treatment for certain breast cancers3 and immunotherapies for lung cancer4 and multiple myeloma.5
Emerging treatment for colorectal cancer
At the intersection of immunotherapy and precision medicine, researchers are ushering in new possibilities for cancer treatment. In one small clinical trial,6 people with rectal cancer that harbors a specific mutation received labmade antibodies. The idea was to follow this with chemo, radiation, and surgery. However, all participants in the study showed no trace of cancer after months on the immunotherapy and were able to skip further treatment — promising early results that could change the course of therapy for many patients.
AI aiding early detection
Screening can save lives. It offers the chance to catch and treat cancer at its earliest stages — or even to remove precancerous growths before they pose a threat. Computer algorithms modeled after the workings of the human brain are being employed to improve screening. An example of this strategy is software assisting with colonoscopies7 that was approved last year by the FDA.8
Blood test under development to profile multiple cancers
The FDA recently granted breakthrough device status9 to a new blood test, called a liquid biopsy, for detecting a broad range of different cancers all in one test. This designation from the FDA helps to speed the development of new technologies that address serious conditions. Using liquid biopsies, healthcare providers can see genetic changes from tumor cells or released tumor DNA circulating in the blood, helping them choose the best treatments for each patient.
To stay in the know on the latest cancer research, knowledge, and insights, read the latest news from our foundational partners.
1 Cronin KA, et al. Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer, part 1: National cancer statistics. Cancer. https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.34479. Published October 27, 2022. Accessed March 10, 2023.
2 Nierengarten MB. Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer. Cancer. https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.34586. Published December 12, 2023. Accessed June 19, 2023.
3 Modi S, et al. Trastuzumab Deruxtecan in Previously Treated HER2-Low Advanced Breast Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2203690. Published July 7, 2022. Accessed June 5, 2023.
4 Forde PM, et al. Neoadjuvant Nivolumab plus Chemotherapy in Resectable Lung Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2202170. Published May 26, 2022. Accessed June 19, 2023.
5 Moreau P, et al. Teclistamab in Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2203478. Published August 11, 2022. Accessed June 19, 2023.
6 Cercek A, et al. PD-1 Blockade in Mismatch Repair-Deficient, Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2201445 Published: June 23, 2022. Accessed June 5, 2023.
7 Glissen Brown JR, et al. Deep Learning Computer-aided Polyp Detection Reduces Adenoma Miss Rate: A United States Multi-center Randomized Tandem Colonoscopy Study (CADeT-CS Trial). Clinical Gastroenterology andHepatology. https://www.cghjournal.org/article/S1542-3565(21)00973-3/fulltext. Published September 13, 2021. Accessed June 19, 2023.
8 AACR Cancer Progress Report 2022: Screening for Early Detection. https://cancerprogressreport.aacr.org/progress/cpr22-contents/cpr22-screening-for-early-detection/. Accessed Mar. 10, 2023.9 FDA Grants Breakthrough Device Designation to A Multi-Cancer Detecting Blood Test. CancerNetwork website. Jan. 5, 2023. https://www.cancernetwork.com/view/fda-grants-breakthrough-device-designation-to-a-multi-cancer-detecting-blood-test