Clinical Cancer Advances 2005: major research advances in cancer treatment, prevention, and screening--a report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
This year, for the first time, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is publishing Clinical Cancer Advances 2005: Major Research Advances in Cancer Treatment, Prevention, and Screening, an annual review of the most significant clinical research presented or published over the past year across all cancer types. ASCO embarked on this project to provide the public, patients, policymakers, and physicians with an accessible summary of the year's most important research advances. While not intended to serve as a comprehensive review, this report provides a year-end snapshot of research that will have the greatest impact on patient care. As you will read, there is much good news from the front lines of cancer research. These pages report on new chemotherapy regimens that sharply reduce the risk of recurrence for very common cancers; the "coming of age" of targeted cancer therapies; promising studies of drugs to prevent cancer; and improvements in quality of life for people living with the disease, among many other advances. Survival rates for cancer are on the rise, increasing from 50% to 64% over the last 30 years. Cancer still exacts an enormous toll, however. Nearly 1.4 million Americans will be diagnosed this year, and some 570,000 will die of the disease. Clearly, more research is needed to find effective therapies for the most stubborn cancer types and stages. We need to know more about the long-term effects of newer, more targeted cancer therapies, some of which need to be taken over long periods of time. And we need to devote far greater attention to tracking and improving the care of the nearly 10 million cancer survivors in the United States today. Despite these and other challenges, the message of this report is one of hope. Through the dedicated, persistent pursuit of clinical research and participation in clinical trials by people with cancer, we steadily uncover new and better ways of treating, diagnosing, and preventing a disease that touches the lives of so many. I want to thank the Editorial Board members, the Specialty Editors, and the ASCO Cancer Communications Committee for their dedicated work to develop this report, and I hope you find it useful.