Most New Cancer Drugs Target DNA, Report Finds

PHOTO: There are 14.5 million cancer survivors in the U.S.PlayGetty Images
WATCH Experts Weigh in on the Progress of Cancer Research

One American dies of cancer every minute, according to the latest Cancer Progress Report from the American Association for Cancer Research.

The report, unveiled Tuesday, highlights major advancements this past year in cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Among its key findings and predictions:

  • More than 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2014. The number of people who die from cancer worldwide is projected to rise to 14.6 million by 2034.
  • While cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in U.S. children, more than 50 percent of cancers are diagnosed in those older than 65.
  • In the past year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved six new cancer therapies, five of which belong to a relatively new class of drugs known as molecularly-targeted agents because they are designed to attack highly specific cancer proteins.

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While improved cancer screening tools and research have led to earlier detection and therapies in the fight against cancer, declining research budgets have slowed progress. And, as the population continues to age, the numbers of cancer diagnoses are expected to dramatically increase, the report warned. Additionally, cancer health disparities persist among low-income and minority populations.

For more on the report, watch this video of this cancer roundtable moderated by Dr. Richard Besser, chief health and medical editor for ABC News.