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Cancer drugs in development nearly doubled since 1995

The number of drugs being developed for the treatment of cancer has nearly doubled during the past six years, according to a new survey of pharmaceutical companies. Currently, 170 pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms various Cancer Institutes are investigating 402 compounds for the treatment of various cancers, up from 215 in 1995. Many of the drugs are alternatives to standard radiation and chemotherapy. For lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, there are 68 drugs in the pipelines of various companies. Experimental drugs for the treatment of breast cancer total 59, while there are 55 for colon cancer, 52 for skin cancer and 52 for prostate cancer. Other cancers being targeted include solid tumors, sarcomas, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, liver cancer, leukemia, kidney cancer, brain cancer, stomach cancer and bladder cancer. Of the drugs in development, 17 are waiting for Food and Drug Administration approval (FDA). Thanks in large part to medicines developed in the past decade, cancer deaths are on the decline. But cancer is still the second leading cause of American deaths by disease.

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