Harnessing Research Discoveries for Patient Benefit

American Association for Cancer Research Cancer Progress Report 2018 shows how research is driving advances against cancer.


The AACR Cancer Progress Report 2018 details how researchers, physician-scientists, and others working across the continuum of cancer science from basic and translational research to population and clinical research are developing innovative ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat the many diseases we call cancer. This progress provides hope to cancer patients, survivors, and their family members and friends, including the individuals who have shared their personal experiences with cancer in the report.

Advances highlighted in the 2018 report include:

  • Twenty-two treatments for cancer were approved for the first time by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or approved for new types of cancer between Aug. 1, 2017, and July 31, 2018. Among these treatments are revolutionary new immunotherapeutics called CAR T–cell therapies, exciting new targeted radiotherapeutics, and numerous new targeted therapeutics that are expanding the scope of precision medicine.
  • The U.S. cancer death rate declined by 26 percent for adults from 1991 to 2015, a reduction that translates into almost 2.4 million lives saved, according to the latest data.
  • The cigarette smoking rate among U.S. adults has fallen to 14 percent, down from 42 percent in 1965, thanks to public education and important policy initiatives.

Research is altering the trajectory of cancer by driving advances in public health and improvements for patients being treated across the entire cancer care continuum.

Cancer: An Ongoing Challenge and Costly Disease. Research: A Vital Investment

The report emphasizes that despite the major progress being made against cancer, there is more work to be done.

  • The number of new cancer cases in the United States is predicted to rise from more than 1.7 million in 2018 to almost 2.4 million in 2035, due largely to the increasing number of people age 65 and older.
  • More than 609,000 people in the United States are projected to die from cancer in 2018.
  • HPV vaccination could prevent nearly all cases of cervical cancer, as well as many cases of oral and anal cancer, but less than 50 percent of U.S. adolescents ages 13 to 17 are up to date with the recommended vaccination series.
  • Advances against cancer have not benefited everyone equally. Cancer health disparities are some of the most pressing challenges posed by the disease.

The ongoing burden of cancer underscores the need for continued transformative research to develop new approaches to prevention and treatment.

Go to CancerProgressReport.org to read or download the full AACR Cancer Progress Report 2018.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is a 501c3 registered nonprofit organization with offices at 615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | 215.440.9300