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Article Archive >> Good Health

New Tools and Techniques for Combating Cancer

New Tools and Techniques for Combating Cancer

(NAPS)-New and improved cancer treatments now being developed by research scientists and doctors are, along with early detection, helping many patients manage and even beat many types of cancer.
Some Vital Statistics
A strong investment in new biopharmaceutical research combined with a deep commitment to patients is resulting in some remarkable progress in the fight against cancer. Over the last few decades, significant progress in biopharmaceutical research and development has contributed to steady improvements in cancer survivorship rates in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society, the cancer death rate fell 22 percent for men and 14 percent for women between 1990 and 2007, which translated to 898,000 fewer deaths from the disease in this period. Yet, with all the progress, cancer remains the second-leading cause of early death-nearly one of every four deaths in the United States-exceeded only by heart disease.
What's Being Done
Building on these advances, biopharmaceutical researchers are today working on nearly 1,000 new cancer treatments. Many are high-tech medicines to fight cancers in new ways. Researchers are also re-examining some existing medicines that show promise for other types of cancer. According to a recent report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the new cancer treatments include:
* A medicine that interferes with the metabolism of cancer cells and deprives them of the energy provided by glucose.
* A medicine for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that inhibits cancer cells with a mutation found in about a third of AML sufferers.
* A therapy that uses nanotechnology to target the delivery of medicines to cancer cells, potentially overcoming some limitations of existing treatments.
These hundreds of new cancer medicines now being developed represent real hope for lessening the burden of cancer to patients, their families and society.
More Cancer Facts
* Men have slightly less than a one-in-two lifetime risk of developing cancer; for women, the risk is a little more than one in three. About 77 percent of all cancers are diagnosed in patients ages 55 and older.
* This year alone, more than 1.6 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed, and an estimated 577,190 people are expected to die of cancer. That's more than 1,500 people a day.
* Scientific evidence suggests that about one-third of the cancer deaths expected this year will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity and poor nutrition, and thus could be prevented.
To learn more about new medicines in development to fight cancer, visit http://phrma.org/research/new-medicines.

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