Experts Forecast Cancer Research and Treatment Advances in 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

American Association for Cancer Researchby Srivani Ravoori, PhD

This past year has been a year of many “firsts” for the oncology community. The field witnessed several revolutionary advances in the research and treatment of cancer, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of an immunotherapeutic to treat patients based on biomarkers rather than the site of tumor origin; the approval of the first CAR T-cell immunotherapy; and the approval of a comprehensive next-gen companion diagnostic test to identify the right patients for the right molecularly targeted therapeutic.

Also in 2017, the FDA approved the FoundationOne CDx test, which can detect genetic mutations in 324 genes and two genomic signatures in any solid tumor type, and the first “biosimilar” cancer drugs, which could potentially help drive down the costs of some cancer treatments.

Another win for the community came in the form of corrective statements from tobacco companies warning of the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Because smoking is responsible for a large proportion of cancer incidence and deaths, there is hope that these statements, in the form of newspaper and television ads running through March 4, could help educate the public and alleviate some of the burden of cancer and health care costs in the future.

But there is so much more to do. Read more