The Progress of Cancer Research

The road to finding a cure to cancer has been paved with victories throughout the years. See the most important milestones of cancer research.

The Progress of Cancer Research

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  • 1880s – William Halsted pioneers the radical mastectomy, ushering in a new era of more aggressive surgical approaches to cancer.
  • 1903 – First use of radiation to treat cancer.
  • 1937 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt establishes the National Cancer Institute to research the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.
  • 1943 – George Papanicolaou invents the Pap test.
  • 1949 – First chemotherapy drug, Nitrogren mustard approved for cancer.
  • 1955 – The NCI establishes the Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program to test new cancer treatments.
  • 1950s-1960s – Studies link smoking to cancer.
  • 1970s –A chemotherapy combination for Hodgkin lymphoma effectively cures 70 percent of patients with the cancer.
  • 1971 – Richard Nixon signs the National Cancer Act of 1971
  • 1977 – First “cure” for testicular cancer.
  • 1981 – First cancer vaccine protects patients from the cancer-causing hepatitis B infection.
  • Early 1990s – Cancer mortality rates finally begin to decline since record keeping began in the 1930s.
  • 1997 – FDA approves the first molecularly targeted cancer drug.
  • 2003 – Scientists complete the Human Genome Project.
  • 2005 – The NCI and the Human Genome Research Institute team up to map cancer genomes with The Cancer Genome Atlas project.
  • 2006 – First vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.
  • 2012 – Record number of American surviving cancer—nearly 14 million!
  • 2016 – President Barack Obama announces the National Cancer Moonshot.
  • 2017+ – Donating to cancer research is more important than ever as we head down the road to a cure!

 

Top funded cancer research by type:

  1. Breast Cancer – $102 million
  2. Colon and Rectal Cancer – $53 million
  3. Lung Cancer – $51 million
  4. Prostate Cancer – $44.3 million
  5. Leukemia – $39.8 million
  6. Brain Cancer – $28 million
  7. Ovarian Cancer – $25.6 million
  8. Skin Cancer – $25 million
  9. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – $20.6 million
  10. Pancreatic Cancer – $19.5 million
  11. Liver Cancer $15.4 million
  12. Head and Neck Cancer – $11.3 million
  13. Cervical Cancer – $10.2 million
  14. Thyroid Cancer – $9.6 million
  15. Kidney Cancer – $4.7 million

(Other Cancer Types – $113.3 million)

This success is indebted to phenomenal work of cancer researchers today as well as the generous donations and support of Americans, and research grants from the federal government, amounting to over $5 billion dollars per year.

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