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ASCO Report Documents Cancer Advances in 2007

Report highlights recent research in cancer prevention and screening, targeted therapies

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer researchers made significant strides in 2007, according to "Major Research Advances in Cancer Treatment, Prevention, and Screening," the third annual report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) published in the Jan. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Executive editors Julie Gralow, M.D., and Robert F. Ozols, M.D., Ph.D., and a board of leading oncologists and other cancer specialists reviewed research published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and the early results of research presented at major scientific meetings in November 2006 to October 2007, and documented 24 of the most significant advances in cancer research.

They identified advances in two categories: Prevention and screening, including research and guidelines on the appropriate use of MRI for breast cancer screening, studies identifying a link between declines in use of hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer incidence, research linking HPV infection and head and neck cancers, and a study of radiation therapy to prevent the spread of lung cancer to the brain; and targeted therapies aimed at hard-to-treat cancers such as liver cancer and kidney cancer.

"These advances and many more over the past several years show that the nation's long-term investment in cancer research is paying off," Nancy Davidson, M.D., president of the ASCO, said in the report. "But there are disturbing signs that progress could slow. We are now in the midst of the longest sustained period of flat government funding for cancer research in history. The budgets for the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute have been unchanged for four years."

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