Cancer

Biopharmaceutical research and development is uncovering new insights into how we view, understand and treat cancer, helping to transform a terrifying diagnosis into a healthier and longer life for patients.

Thanks to investments in cancer research, the survival rates are increasing dramatically for many forms of the disease. Since 1975, 5-year survival rates went up 21% for breast cancer; 50% for prostate cancer; 36% for colon cancer and 54% for lung cancer.1

These powerful statistics help illustrate how biopharmaceutical innovations are enabling us to gradually win our war with this dreaded disease:

  • Cancer patients lived a combined 23 million years longer between 1988 and 2000, thanks to investments in cancer research2
  • Cancer death rates have decreased 22% since 19913
  • Today, 83% of children with cancer survive compared to 58% in the mid-1970s4
  • The 10-year survival rate for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is now 80% compared to 20% a decade ago5
  • Currently, there are nearly 800 cancer medicines and vaccines in clinical testing6
  • Approximately 80% of these pipeline drugs are potentially first-in-class treatments7
  • 73% of these cancer treatments have the potential to be personalized medicines8

The path to creating life-extending and even life-saving treatments is an extremely long, labor-intensive effort that involves major investment. Each new cancer treatment, whether it extends life by six months or cures the disease, reflects the way that innovation leads to improved patient outcomes. Patients benefit. Society benefits. The odds are that someday you, or someone you love, will benefit.

  1. http://www.phrma.org/sites/default/files/pdf/infographic-value-of-cancer-medicines-2014.pdf
  2. Lakdawala DN, et al. An economic evaluation of the war on cancer. Journal of Health Economics. May 2010. 29(3):333-346
  3. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/u-s-cancer-deaths-fell-22-since-1991/
  4. http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/childhood-cancer/statistics
  5. Journal of Managed Care, Nov 2012
  6. http://www.phrma.org/sites/default/files/pdf/2014-cancer-report.pdf
  7. http://www.phrma.org/sites/default/files/pdf/2014-cancer-report.pdf
  8. http://www.phrma.org/sites/default/files/pdf/chart_pack-value_of_personalized_medicine.pdf

Gains in cancer survival between 1988 and 2000 were worth nearly $2 trillion, with a majority of that going to patients, families and our economy as a whole.