Oncology Breakthroughs: The Latest in Cancer Research


Pfizer strives to set the standard in cancer research. Through clinical cancer research we create results for oncology treatment options.

Cancer is the most complex disease known to mankind.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.1 With more than 100 types and a biology that’s constantly changing, it’s also one of the most complex diseases known to mankind.2, 3 In 2012, there were 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million cancer deaths worldwide.4 By 2030, the global burden is expected to grow to 21.7 million new cancer cases and 13 million cancer deaths as a result of growth and aging of the population.5

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with an estimated 1.8 million people in the world diagnosed each year6.
Pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis with survival of only 1-3 years.7
Approximately 13 people are diagnosed with GI stromal tumors every day.
Nearly 412,000 people worldwide will be diagnosed with leukemia by 20209.
About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime10
More than 60,000 new cases of renal cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year in the U.S.11
Pfizer is developing treatments that are as diverse as the disease itself.

Pfizer is developing treatments that are as diverse as the disease itself with a sharp focus on the most disruptive advances in science and guided by the urgency to help patients receive the next wave of life-changing cancer medicines.

Although traditional cancer-fighting tools like chemotherapy and radiation remain important treatment options for doctors and patients, scientists are uncovering new approaches to attack cancer cells directly and more effectively. With recent clinical success in immunotherapy reshaping the field of oncology, the prospects for more durable and even curative responses to many cancers are on the horizon.

Pfizer Scientist Bob Abraham Meets Patient Matt Hiznay

The key to cancer treatment is not just to understand how cancer cells behave on their own, but to learn how they evade the body’s immune system and existing treatments. Pfizer’s pipeline of potential cancer medicines includes differentiated therapies with multiple mechanisms of action that target both the tumor itself and the immune system. We are investigating medicines for breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, gastric cancer, ovarian cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and hematologic malignancies, including leukemias and lymphomas.

Our research in oncology focuses primarily on:



Pfizer is advancing the frontiers of cancer biology with a “toolbox” of differentiated modalities that will allow us to provide the right treatment for each patient:

Collaborations are a key part of how Pfizer conducts cancer research

Cancer is a challenge far too great to tackle alone. Collaborations are a key part of how Pfizer conducts cancer research. We look to partner with the strongest science and scientists wherever it is found, be it academia, government, foundations, biotechnology or other large pharmaceutical companies.


Work with Us

If you’re interested in collaborating with our Oncology Partnering page to learn more about the work we're pursuing.

Meet Some of Pfizer’s Oncology Researchers

1National Cancer Institute, “Cancer Statistics.” Accessed 18 November 2016. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics2National Cancer Institute, “What Is Cancer.” Accessed 18 November 2016. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/what-is-cancer3Niller, E, “Obama’s Anti-Cancer Moonshot Will Need More Than Research.” Accessed 18 November 2016. Available at https://www.wired.com/2016/01/obamas-anti-cancer-moonshot-will-need-more-than-research/4American Cancer Society, “Global Cancer Facts & Figures.” Accessed 18 November 2016. Available at http://www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics/global5American Cancer Society, “Global Cancer Facts & Figures.” Accessed 18 November 2016. Available at http://www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics/global6International Agency for Research on Cancer, “GLOBOCAN 2012: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012.” Accessed 18 November 2016. Available at http://globocan.iarc.fr/Pages/fact_sheets_cancer.aspx?cancer=lung7Yao JC, et al. Population-based study of islet cell carcinoma. Ann Surg Oncol. 2007; 14(12):3492–3500.8American Cancer Society, “Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST).” Accessed 18 November 2016. Available at http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003103-pdf.pdf9GLOBOCAN 2012: Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide. Accessed 18 November 2016. Available at http://globocan.iarc.fr/old/burden.asp?selection_pop=224900&Text-p=World&selection_cancer=12280&Text-c=Leukaemia&pYear=8&type=0&window=1&submit=%C2%A0Execute10American Cancer Society, “Breast Cancer.” Accessed 18 November 2016. Available at http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003090-pdf.pdf11Siegel R, et al. Cancer Statistics 2015. CA CANCER J CLIN. 2015; 63 (1) 11-20.