Billions of dollars are spent every year by pharma companies researching and testing new cancer treatments. Although there is a wealth of valuable, historical cancer clinical trial data, it’s not available. The Project Data Sphere initiative aims to change that because large pools of data can, and should, be put to use.
We’ve been fighting the war on cancer for forty years and although there has been a decrease in U.S. cancer deaths, the global burden of cancer has doubled over the last three decades . Indeed, the leading cause of death in the world today is cancer, followed by heart disease and stroke [2,3]. Cancer also has the greatest economic impact from premature death and disability of all causes of death worldwide, costing $895 billion in 2008 . That number is just the cost of loss of productivity; it doesn’t include the direct costs of treating cancer.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently published its third annual Clinical Cancer Advances report, Clinical Cancer Advances 2007: Major Research Advances in Cancer Treatment, Prevention and Screening . It was developed under the guidance of a 21-person editorial board consisting of leading oncologists and cancer specialists, including specialty editors for each of the disease-specific and issue-specific sections. The report highlights 6 major advances in cancer research in 2007 and describes an additional 18 other findings of significant importance, demonstrating the pace of progress being made in cancer prevention, screening, treatment, epidemiology and survivorship.