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This week’s Retro Report video examines the “war on cancer”—a federal research initiative authorized by President Richard M. Nixon in 1971. 

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This week’s Retro Report video examines the “war on cancer”—a federal research initiative authorized by President Richard M. Nixon in 1971. Many anticipated quick results, in part because of the public relations campaign, complete with ads suggesting we could cure cancer by the bicentennial, that successfully pushed Mr. Nixon into making the commitment.

Since then, the United States government has spent over $100 billion on research. For a look at the course of the war on cancer, watch the video above. And here, a veteran medical reporter who wrote a 2009 series about cancer, Forty Years’ War, reflects on the progress of recent years.

Photo via DixieBelleCupcakeCafe/Flickr

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