World Cancer Day: Childhood Cancer Survival Rate at 80 Percent Today

World Cancer Day: Childhood Cancer Survival Rate at 80 Percent Today

02.04.13 | By

In 1970, a child diagnosed with cancer had a less than 50 percent chance of surviving. Today, that number has increased to 80 percent.

As a mother, I find this to be heartening news. And for those parents who have a child diagnosed with cancer, it provides them with hope.

Today is World Cancer Day. We have a lot to celebrate as great progress has been made against this life-threatening disease. But there is more work that needs to be done, particularly for the 20 percent of children who succumb to cancer.

In January, PhRMA released a report that provides a snapshot of the biopharmaceutical pipeline and revealed that there are more than 3,000 medicines in development for cancer. And, 80 percent of the treatments in the pipeline for cancer are potential first-in-class medicines, which can help patients with serious unmet medical needs.

What's important to remember is that research and innovation, particularly around cancer, incrementally builds over time. Every discovery and research lead can unveil new findings, new leads and new targets that can better equip scientists as they search for potential treatments and cures for this disease.

Simple translation: Each new medicine or research lead is a building block to greater understanding of this complex disease and that investments made in this area continue to forge a lengthy pathway forward in the battle against cancer.

A Boston Healthcare Associates paper released last year underscores this "incremental" innovation theme and found that following Food and Drug Administration approval of a new cancer medicine, it often takes years of additional research to fully understand the value of medicines to patients.

The paper also reaffirms the importance of policymakers to recognize - particularly in this deficit reduction environment - how progress against cancer continues to evolve over time when considering policies that impact patient access to innovative treatments.

I urge you to check both papers out.

More On PhRMA — powered by PhRMApedia