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New Report Shows Tremendous Progress in Oncology Treatment

June 16, 2017
Earlier this month, a new report was released demonstrating the tremendous advances that have been made in outcomes for cancer patients in recent years, largely due to the availability of new therapies. Global Oncology Trends 2017, published by the QuintilesIMS Institute, examines the “paradigm shift” in oncology treatment over the past decade thanks to the advent of personalized medicine and immuno-oncology treatments.

Cancer mortality rates in developed countries have declined steadily over the past decade – and the report found that the largest declines have been among tumor types with the greatest number of new treatment mechanisms (such as in treatments for breast, lung, and colorectal cancers). Since 2011, 68 new drugs have been approved for 22 indications. These new drugs include novel immunotherapies, which “have raised the hope of significantly improving cancer survival across a large number of tumor types.”

How are patients in the United States faring? Quite well, it turns out. Among the developed countries examined, the U.S. had the second highest reduction in mortality over the last decade. The U.S. also had the highest number of newly launched cancer drugs among all countries examined. Our success in reducing mortality is likely thanks in large part to that unparelleded availabilitity of newer treatments for American patients.

On the issue of cost, cancer treatments remain a very small portion of overall cancer care expenditures in the U.S. – about 12 percent, according to a recent report from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network. Meanwhile, net prices for existing branded oncology drugs increased just 3.6%, according to the QuintilesIMS report – well below overall medical inflation.

Read the full QuintilesIMS report here.