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Eliminating the Suffering and Death Due To Cancer by 2015

Tuesday June 2005


Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. Director, National Cancer Institute

The human and economic burden of cancer for the nation is enormous. More than 1.4 million Americans received a diagnosis of cancer in 2004, and at current rates, one in two men and one in three women will receive similar sobering news in their lifetime. Although death rates for certain types of cancer are declining and five-year survival rates for many types of the disease are increasing, 560,000 people will die of cancer this year and the cost will exceed $180 billion. As baby boomers age, the number of new cancer cases will increase the burden.

Can we counter these daunting statistics and reverse these trends? Will it ever be possible to eliminate death and suffering from cancer?

According to Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer will require creating a new era in biomedical and cancer research that is fostered by technology. Based upon a partnership between the private sector, academic institutions and government agencies, he is calling for the establishment of a National Advanced Technology Initiative for Cancer (NATIc)—a massive national-scale initiative that will accelerate the development, transfer, and ultimately the commercialization of new and advanced cancer technologies.