Each year globally, about 14 million people learn they have cancer. In the US however, the 5 year relative survival rate has jumped from 49% in 1975-1977 to 68% from 2003-2009. This increase is the result of two factors: early detection and improvements in treatment. Research efforts over the last 40 years have provided scientists and doctors with new knowledge about cancer in relation to the human body, leading to many successful medical advances in cancer treatment and the improvement in the survival rate we see today.
What Is Immunology Research and Why Does It Matter?
Immunology research is simply the study of how our immune system seeks out and destroys dangerous bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Why do some people’s immune systems break down and allow inactive cancer cells to become active? Cancer immunology researchers work on a cellular level to answer this question in search for a cure. In the last decade, immunology has become one of the most popular fields of scientific research. Its new found popularity is due in large part to scientific breakthroughs in life-saving vaccines. For example, immunology research played a large role in the creation of the HPV vaccine which is responsible for the prevention and ultimately the decrease in cervical cancer. Cancer researchers are also reporting longer survival rates with the use of immunotherapy (drugs that unleash the body’s immune system to combat tumors) as patients are expected to live years longer, rather than weeks or months. Concern Foundation’s founders had the insight to invest in immunology over 40 years ago. Concern has since been at the forefront of funding immunology research. Today, many doctors are predicting that immunology and immunotherapy will be a revolution in cancer care.
 Center for Disease Control and Prevention; 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/worldcancerday/
 Cancer.org; 2014. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@research/documents/webcontent/acspc-042151.pdf
 Cancerresearch.org. http://www.cancerresearch.org/our-strategy-impact/people-behind-the-progress/scientists/cri-clinical-investigator-ian-frazer-creates-hpv-v
 New York Times; 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/business/cancer-researchers-report-longer-survival-rates-with-immunotherapy.html?hpw&rref=business&_r=0