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chemotherapy patient
Photo by Rhoda Baer

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has released its annual Cancer Progress Report, detailing recent advances in the fight against cancer and calling on elected officials to address the challenges that remain.

The AACR Cancer Progress Report 2018 lists the 22 new approvals for cancer treatments that have occurred during the last 12 months, including 12 therapies approved to treat hematologic malignancies.

However, the report also notes that cancer continues to pose immense public health challenges in the United States.

The estimated number of new cancer cases for 2018 is 1,735,350, and the estimated number of cancer deaths is 609,640.

The number of new cancer cases is predicted to increase to 2,387,304 in 2035. This is due, in large part, to the rising number of people age 65 and older, according to the report.

With this in mind, the AACR is calling on elected officials to:

Maintain “robust, sustained, and predictable growth” of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget, increasing it at least $2 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2019, for a total funding level of at least $39.1 billion.

Make sure the $711 million in funding provided through the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiatives—including the National Cancer Moonshot—“is fully appropriated in FY 2019 and is supplemental to the healthy increase for the NIH’s base budget.”

Raise the Food and Drug Administration’s base budget in FY 2019 to $3.1 billion—a $308 million increase above its FY 2018 level—to secure support for regulatory science and speed the development of medical products that are safe and effective.

Provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Cancer Prevention and Control Programs with total funding of at least $517 million. This would include funding for “comprehensive cancer control, cancer registries, and screening and awareness programs for specific cancers.”

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