Fact of the Week: In the Last 60 Years, $400 Million Worth of Federally Funded Cancer Research Trials Added 3.3 Million Years to the Lives of U.S. Patients

John Wu June 26, 2017
June 26, 2017

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The cure to cancer may be many years away, but that doesn’t mean cancer R&D hasn’t already produced huge benefits. To understand how federally funded cancer research has benefited U.S. patients, three doctors analyzed 23 federally funded trials that used new treatment methods between 1956 and 2016.

They found that the advancements in cancer treatment methods pioneered through these 23 trials have added a total of 3.34 million years to the lives of U.S. cancer patients. The researchers estimate that these gains in cancer survivability came about from $400 million in cancer R&D investment—or about $125 per extra year of life for a cancer patient.