AACR Cancer Progress Report 2018:
Harnessing Research Discoveries for Patient Benefit


Cancer in 2018

Research has spurred advances in public health and improvements across the cancer care spectrum that are reducing overall cancer incidence and death rates and increasing the number of people who are living longer, higher quality lives after a cancer diagnosis. Although we have made incredible progress, cancer continues to be an enormous public health challenge worldwide.

Understanding Cancer Development

Cancer is a collection of diseases that arise due to uncontrolled cell multiplication. Alterations in the DNA sequence are the leading cause of cancer development, but a cancer cell’s surroundings influence disease development and progression.

Preventing Cancer: Identifying Risk Factors

In the United States, four out of 10 cancer cases and almost half of all deaths from cancer are associated with preventable risk factors. There are disparities in the burden of cancer attributable to preventable causes among certain segments of the U.S. population.

Screening for Early Detection

Research identifying how cancer arises and progresses has led to the development of screening tests that can be used for early detection of cancer and precancerous lesions. We need to develop strategies to ensure optimal implementation of these screening tests.

Harnessing Research Discoveries

The dedicated efforts of individuals working throughout the cycle of biomedical research are benefiting people around the world by driving progress across the continuum of clinical cancer care.

Looking to the Future

Innovations in science and technology across the spectrum of cancer research—such as the integration and mining of health care data, the development of minimally invasive diagnostic tools such as liquid biopsies, and increased understanding of the gut microbiome—will shape the future of clinical cancer care.

Overcoming Cancer through Science-based, Patient-centered Public Policy

Federal funding for biomedical research has a significant impact on our nation’s health and the United States economy. We must continue to invest in research to maintain progress against cancer.

The AACR Call to Action

The AACR calls on Congress and the Administration to continue to support robust, sustained, and predictable growth of the NIH budget; increase the FDA base budget in FY 2019; and support the CDC Cancer Prevention and Control Programs.