TRENTON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) opens its 50th Annual Meeting today in Chicago, it is fitting to recognize how far we have come in the war on cancer while also keeping a keen eye on the challenging tasks that remain.
Dedicated researchers have fueled a medical revolution since the war on cancer was declared in 1975. Cures have been discovered; therapies have been delivered; lives have been saved and quality of life has been increased.
Important examples of progress include:
- Since the mid-1970s, the five-year relative survival rate of children with cancer has increased from 58 percent to 83 percent today.
- The five-year survival rate for cancer is 68 percent today; up from 49 percent in 1975.
- The cancer death rate has fallen by 20 percent since its peak in 1991, with the large part of this decrease attributed to new medicines.
- Since 1975, the five-year survival rate has increased 21 percent for breast cancer; 50 percent for prostate cancer; 36 percent for colon cancer; and 54 percent for lung cancer.
- And in one of the most dramatic instances, the five-year survival rate for patients with leukemia has nearly tripled since the early 1990s.
And this progress has had a significant impact on the well-being of our society.
According to a study published in the Journal of Health Economics, the research and development dollars that have been devoted to cancer research since 1975 have resulted in 23 million additional life years and $1.9 trillion in value to society.
For every $1 spent on innovative medicines such as those directed at cancer, total healthcare spending is reduced by $7.20.
There are many factors behind this great progress including a deeper understanding of cancer at the genetic and molecular levels as well as a continuing array of innovative medicines.
But, there is still much more to be done and so much promise on the horizon. There are more than 3,000 drugs in development around the world that target cancer, and out of those, about 80 percent have the promise of becoming first-in-class treatments.
We are poised for the next great leap in curing cancer. The life science industry’s focus is now turned on establishing a new era in treatment that is based on the practice of personalized medicine.
These groundbreaking treatments will help transform the treatment paradigm for patients and help address the economic burden of cancer.
To do this, we must take great care to protect and foster the innovative process that is at the heart of this progress and avoid old arguments that hamper the development of new ideas and new ways of doing things.
At BioNJ our rallying cry is Because Patients Can’t Wait…because they can’t. And our Members are dedicated to a world where they don’t have to.
With more than 300 member companies, BioNJ is focused on the growth and prosperity of New Jersey’s life sciences cluster. Founded in 1994 by New Jersey industry CEOs, BioNJ serves as the voice of companies located in New Jersey, seeks to advance their economic growth and development and works to encourage new and established companies from around the world to locate in New Jersey. BioNJ represents companies engaged in biopharmaceutical, biomedical, bioagricultural and bioremedial endeavors.