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Oncology is a major field of focus for medical research and development. Since 1992, the overall morbidity and mortality rates of all kinds of tumors have been decreasing, and the survival period of cancer patients has also been extending. All this is due to the unremitting efforts and breakthroughs of generations of medical workers in nearly a century. In recent years, tumor therapy is in the era of targeted therapy and immunotherapy, and some new theories and researches are constantly emerging.

In 2014, the first PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor (pembrolizumab) was approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA), showing superior efficacy and lower adverse reactions (compared with ipilimumab, the first immunotherapy antibody approved in 2011). At present, antibodies that block PD-1/PD-L1 have been approved for multiple tumor indications, such as melanoma, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, head and neck cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and gastroesophageal, bladder and urothelial cancers.

In 2017, Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T‐cell, an adoptive T cell immunotherapy, was approved by the FDA for B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) treatment. This was a landmark decision for cellular and gene therapy in that patients were treated according to the genetic characteristics of the tumor rather than the site of the disease.

In 2018, there were breakthroughs in the development of rare oncology drugs, such as the FDA's approval of Tafinlar in combination with Mekinist for the treatment of undifferentiated thyroid cancer, the first ATCS treatment approved in nearly 50 years.

Although extraordinary progress has been made in the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer diseases, which has brought confidence and hope to cancer patients, the diversity and complexity of cancer diseases pose new challenges for the clinical application and research of cancer drugs. It’s been a marathon. It’s been a long and hard journey, but we believe it will come to an end.

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