(Alexandria, VA, Thursday, January 31, 2019) -The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has released its annual report on progress against cancer, Clinical Cancer Advances 2019.

In the report, ASCO names progress in treating rare cancers as the “Advance of the Year.” Although rare cancers account for about 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. each year, treatment progress has lagged behind more common forms of cancer. In the past year, however, research and regulatory achievements in five rare cancers – forms of uterine, neuroendocrine and thyroid cancers, as well as sarcomas and cancer of the tissues that surround the joints – were particularly impactful, leading ASCO to designate this area of research as the Advance of the Year.

For the first time, ASCO has identified Research Priorities to Advance Progress Against Cancer. These specific areas of focus for future cancer research efforts represent vital unmet needs or knowledge gaps. They include cancer prevention strategies, increasing equitable participation in research, optimizing treatment, and improving long-term health for the growing number of cancer survivors around the world.

At a time when nearly four in 10 Americans (39%) believe cancer can be cured solely through alternative therapies, according to an ASCO survey, research shows that alternative medicine is not a substitute for conventional cancer treatment.

Finally, the report highlights key policy issues and developments that will impact the future of U.S. cancer research and the pace of progress. ASCO urges Congress to give hope to millions of Americans with cancer by continuing to build on its investment in cancer research.

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