More than 1.6 million people developed cancer in the U.S. in 2015. Cancer also has a major fiscal impact: the economic burden totaled $263.8 billion in 2013, translating to nearly $900 per American. On March 10, Research!America, in partnership with AcademyHealth, American Cancer Society, and Celgene Corporation convened a panel of cancer experts to discuss how research is working to stop cancer.
Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch., MPH, president and CEO of AcademyHealth, started the conversation by outlining cancer innovation as a continuum, including basic, clinical, population, health services, and translational research. Jan Eberth, Ph.D., discussed her cancer epidemiology work as an example of population-based research, and Larry Kessler, Sc.D., discussed the return on investment on health systems research. Of note, Dr. Kessler cited the Women’s Health Initiative, which led to an economic return of $140 for every $1 spent on the trial.
Joel Beetsch, Ph.D., vice president of global patient advocacy and corporate affairs at Celgene, outlined how investment by both the public and private sectors has led to better cancer treatments and reminded the audience that only 1% of U.S. health care dollars are spent on cancer research.
Rounding out the panel was Michael Holtz of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. He provided a closer look at the patient experience by giving an account of his battle with cancer and his journey for a cure, as well as the reality of living with unexpected side effects after his successful treatment.