This report, “Clinical Cancer Advances 2008: Major Research Advances in Cancer Treatment, Screening, and Prevention,” highlights 31 of the most significant advances during last year, including 12 that the editors consider to be major advances.

Although these and many other research advances are making a real difference in patient care, cancer continues to take a tremendous toll—more than 500,000 people in the United States will die as a result of cancer this year. In this report, ASCO recommends two strategies for translating our growing basic science knowledge into new treatments for patients: increasing investment in cancer research and expanding patient participation in clinical trials.

Studies included in this year’s report are grouped as follows:

  • Blood and lymphatic cancers
  • Breast cancer
  • CNS tumors
  • GI cancers
  • Genitourinary cancers
  • Gynecologic cancers
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Lung cancer
  • Pediatric cancers
  • Sarcoma
  • Skin cancer
  • Cancer prevention
  • Access to care
  • Quality of life
  • The research considered for this report covers the full range of clinical cancer issues:
  • Epidemiology (populations at greatest or increasing risk)
  • Prevention
  • Screening/early detection
  • Treatment with traditional therapies (surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy) as well as newer, more targeted therapies (monoclonal antibodies, kinase inhibitors, angiogenesis inhibitors, and epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors)
  • Personalized cancer medicine (targeting treatment based on genetic traits of the tumor or the patient)
  • Access to high-quality care
  • Survivorship.