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Report Highlights Year's Major Cancer Advances

ASCO authors single out 15 advances, including five in personalized medicine, targeted therapies

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The year's most important clinical cancer research studies, including 15 major advances, are highlighted in a new report, "Clinical Cancer Advances 2009: Major Research Advances in Cancer Treatment, Prevention and Screening," published online Nov. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Executive editors, Nicholas Petrelli, M.D., and Eric P. Winer, M.D., and colleagues from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Alexandria, Va., highlighted advances in four key areas: "Advances in Personalized Medicine and Targeted Therapies," "New Standards of Care," "Cancer Prevention and Screening," and "Large Trials Settle Key Debates in Colon and Breast Cancer Care."

The authors also issued three key recommendations aimed at increasing federal investment in cancer research funding, strengthening the nation's clinical research system, and ensuring patients receive high-quality care.

"These continuing research advances should encourage people with cancer and those who care for them," ASCO president, Douglas W. Blayney, M.D., said in a statement. "As this report demonstrates, investment in clinical cancer research is paying off. Since 1990, cancer death rates have declined 15 percent. Today, two-thirds of patients survive at least five years after diagnosis, compared to just half 40 years ago, and they have a dramatically higher quality of life."

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