Millions of Lives Will Be Saved
8MIncrease in cancer survivors
75%Pediatric cancer survival rate increase
10%Stage 4 cancer survival rate increase, US
In 1950, pediatric leukemia killed 90% of afflicted children. Back then, tobacco had yet to be causally connected with lung cancer, and the only breast cancer treatment available was a radical mastectomy. Chemotherapies were arriving, but were frequently as fatal as the cancers they were trying to treat.
Today cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the US after heart disease, but many cancers are in retreat as a raft of new treatments and discoveries come online. For instance, pediatric cancer survivability has increased from 10% in 1950 to 85% today. Targeted therapies pinpoint cancer-causing mutations and save more patients with fewer side effects. These include drugs that activate a person’s own immune system to attack and neutralize tumors. By 2040, cancer survivors—patients who have been cancer-free for at least five years—will increase from 18 million to over 26 million people in the US.
Globally, nearly 20,000 clinical trials are underway, and spending on cancer drugs is slated to reach $269 billion by 2025. The US FDA is on track to approve an unprecedented number of new cancer treatments in the coming years, continuing a brisk pace that has seen over 80 new cancer drugs approved since 2015— one quarter of all pharmaceuticals approved.