2017: A Good Year in the Fight Against Cancer
Dec 27, 2017 Cedars-Sinai Staff
2017 was a good year in the fight against cancer.
Across the last decade, the FDA has approved an average of 8 new cancer drugs per year; in 2017, 14 new drugs were approved to treat a variety of cancers in both adults and children.
Dr. Alain Mita says the number of new approvals reflects exponential progress in cancer research. The hope is to significantly change the course of the disease, which remains the second leading cause of death in the United States.
"We can treat cancer better than we did 10 years ago, and all that progress is thanks to patients participating in clinical trials and research," says Dr. Mita, co-director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
"What's especially exciting," he adds, "is that Cedars-Sinai participated in the Phase 1 trial for the new prescription drug avelumab, which has been FDA-approved to treat skin and bladder cancers." Phase 1 trials are designed to test the safety of a new drug and identify potential side effects.
"The changing design of clinical trials allows researchers to get answers faster."
A new approach
"We can treat cancer better than we did 10 years ago, and all that progress is thanks to patients participating in clinical trials and research."