Clinical Cancer Advances is an independent annual review of the top advances in cancer treatment, prevention, and screening across all cancer types, conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Over the past three decades, investment in clinical cancer research, prevention, and screening has reduced cancer incidence and death rates, increased survival rates, and significantly reduced the symptoms and side effects of cancer and its treatment. The latest statistics show that cancer death rates decreased by 2.1% per year from 2002 to 2004, almost twice the annual decline of 1.1% per year from 1993 to 2002. Today, there are more than 10 million cancer survivors in the United States.

This report documents 24 of the most significant advances on the front lines of cancer research over the past year, including six that the editors of this report consider major advances. This year, major advances can be grouped into two categories:

  • Prevention and Screening: Studies on screening and preventing cancer from forming and spreading, including: research and guidelines on the appropriate use of magnetic resonance imaging for breast cancer screening; studies identifying a link between declines in use of hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer incidence; research linking human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and head and neck cancers; and a study of radiation therapy to prevent the spread of lung cancer to the brain.
  • Targeted Therapies: Studies of effective new targeted therapies for hard-to-treat cancers such as liver cancer and kidney cancer.