Top Cancer Advancements of the Decade: The Votes Are In


See what your peers voted to be the top cancer advancements of the decade!

Cancer treatment looks vastly different than it did 10 years ago. From Nobel Prizes to immunotherapy, here’s what you — the Oncology Nursing News audience — voted to be the top cancer advancements between the years 2010 and 2019.

  • James Allison, PhD, and Tasuku Honjo, MD, PhD, win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work in immunotherapy. The prize was given to the scientists in 2018, “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation,” according to
  • The first cancer vaccine is approved, (sipuleucel-T) for the treatment of prostate cancer. The drug was initially approved by the FDA in April 2010 to treat asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic, castration-resistant (hormone refractory) prostate cancer.
  • Next-generation sequencing becomes commonplace leading to more personalized care and improved outcomes for various cancer types. The method has been improving outcomes in bladder, lung, and breast cancer, plus others, and has even been shown to extremely cost effective.
  • Checkpoint inhibitors are approved based on tumor's molecular makeup, (microsatellite instability-high; MSI-H status), and not the tumor location. In May 2017, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was approved by the FDA for treatment of adults and children with metastatic MSI-H, DNA mismatch repair (dMMR) solid tumors that have progressed on other treatment.
  • The first CAR T-cell therapy is approved, (tisagenlecleucel [Kymriah]) for the treatment of adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (2018) and pediatric and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (2017).

Readers also wrote in other highlights from the last 10 years:

“The research on all of the immunotherapy. It’s amazing to see where this is going next!”

“Approved in 2010, sipuleucel-T was ahead of its time. The increase of (overall survival) in (metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer) is comparable to recent approvals of the oral oncolytics.”

“I really think monoclonal antibodies was a huge game changer in the breast cancer setting. Pertuzumab (Perjeta) combined with trastuzumab (Herceptin) was a homerun in strong HER2-positive disease. Both in adjuvant and metastatic disease.”

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