104 aacr cancer Progress report 2015
builDing bloCKs to fuRtheR
in This secTion You WiLL Learn:
• reguLaTorY science and PoLicY PLaY
• increasing federaL suPPor T for
biomedicaL research is cruciaL To
advancing Precision medicine and
maKing con Tinued Progress agains T
a Ke Y roLe in advancing Precision
medicine and maKing con Tinued
Progress againsT cancer.
• federaL suPPor T is needed To con Tinue
To deveLoP and Train The biomedicaL
research WorKforce of TomorroW.
• PaTienT and caregiver PersPec Tives
need To be considered as an inTegraL
Par T of advancing Precision medicine.
• Precision medicine can PLaY an
imPor Tan T roLe in The Predic Tion and
Preven Tion of disease.
Thanks to the efforts of countless researchers across the
entire biomedical research continuum, we have made
great progress in our understanding of the molecular and
genetic mechanisms underlying the collection of diseases
that we call cancer, which in turn has made possible the
development of new methods for preventing, detecting,
diagnosing, and treating cancer.
In fact, in the 12 months between Aug. 1, 2014, and July 31,
2015, the FDA approved nine new anticancer therapeutics,
one new cancer prevention vaccine, and one new cancer
screening test (see Table 1, p. 10). During this period, the
FDA also approved new uses for six previously approved
anticancer therapeutics and one imaging agent.
This progress would not have been possible without federal
support for the NIH, NCI, and FDA.
Nowhere is this progress more apparent than in the
emerging field of precision medicine. At its very essence,
precision medicine is treating patients based on the
characteristics that distinguish that individual from other
patients with the same disease, and the field of oncology
has been leading the way in the development of precision
treatments (see Treating Cancer More Precisely, p. 23).
On Jan. 30, 2015, President Obama announced plans for a
new Precision Medicine Initiative that would capitalize on
the existing foundation of precision oncology, with the goal
of extending precision medicine treatments to all forms
of cancer and many other diseases. Making this a reality
will require robust, sustained, and predictable funding
increases for the NIH and NCI, who are leading this
effort. Additionally, it is essential to develop mechanisms
to involve patients more directly in the development of
What if matching a cancer cure to our genetic code
was just as standard [as a blood transfusion]? …
[T]he time is right to unleash a new wave of
advances in this area, in precision medicine. ”
Presiden T baracK obama, Whi Te house briefing on Precision medicine, Jan. 30, 2015