Major advances in the fight against two of Britain's deadliest cancers have been announced on Wednesday (25 January).
Lung cancer and pancreatic cancer affect roughly 46,000 people and 10,000 people respectively in the UK every year and have the highest mortality rates.
Less than 3% of people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive more than five years, and the figure only rises to 10% for lung cancer. Despite these bleak numbers scientists have announced breakthroughs in the treatment of both diseases.
In pancreatic cancer, a "monumental leap forward" has been made, according to campaigners. A drug trial by the European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer (ESPAC) found that 29% of patients given a combination of two chemotherapy drugs lived for at least five years, compared with 16% who received the one chemotherapy drug that is the NHS's current standard treatment.
"These results are a monumental leap forward in pancreatic cancer treatment," Leanne Reynolds, head of research at Pancreatic Cancer UK, told the Guardian.
"We believe this could herald a true step change in the treatment of this tough cancer, offering substantially more patients who have had surgery the chance to live for longer and, crucially, without significant added side-effects."
The higher survival rates were found when patients were given both gemcitabine and capecitabine, instead of gemcitabine alone.
In lung cancer diagnoses in the UK, a report from the Royal College of Physicians shows a 7% increase in the number of people diagnosed with lung cancer surviving for longer than one year, compared with results from 2010.
Though no reason for the improvement was given, the report highlighted that a far greater number of people are receiving chemotherapy in comparison to 2010.
In 2010, only 48% of people received chemotherapy, whereas that figure rose to 64% by 2015.
Dr Jesme Fox, medical director of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said: "We are pleased to see this encouraging increase in patient survival.
"However, there is much still to do to ensure that lung cancer patients are diagnosed as early as possible, and are able to access best practice treatment and care."