Our approach

While research and development continue to challenge the limits on how we understand and fight cancer, more than eight million lives are still lost a year from cancer1..

At AstraZeneca, we are committed to scientific advances in oncology, to provide life-changing drugs for patients who need it most. With research-based products that exploit the power of four scientific platforms to address unmet medical needs in different cancers, we are motivated to challenge the boundaries of science and collaboration to eventually eliminate cancer as a cause of death.

Our ambition is to push the boundaries of science to change the practice of medicine and transform the lives of patients living with cancer. To achieve this, we focus on research and development and our commercial capabilities to offer a new generation of drugs that have the potential to redefine cancer treatment and improve the quality of life for patients.

Laury Da Costa Oncology Business Unit Director

Main therapeutic areas:

We are focusing on four scientific platforms that we believe show the greatest potential to produce effective drugs for cancer patients.

  • Response to DNA damage

    Act on the DNA repair process to block the reproductive capacity of tumor cells.

  • Alterations that direct cancer proliferation and mechanisms of resistance

    Develop therapies that act on specific mutations to attack cancer cells

  • Antibodies with drugs played

    Providing antibodies with anticancer drugs to act specifically on tumors

  • Immuno-oncology

    Activate the body's own immune system to fight cancer

Precision Medicine & Genomics

Targeting therapies to the patients who are going to benefit

Scientists at AstraZeneca are working every day to turn science fiction into science fact. Our dream - to develop innovative, targeted medicines for every patient that needs them - and to match those treatments to patients most likely to benefit from them - is now becoming a reality.

This approach, known as Precision Medicine, is based on those individual characteristics that make some patients respond to treatment better than others. We use this knowledge to develop diagnostic tests that doctors can use to help prescribe the best treatment for each patient. In fact, it has now become common practice for cancer patients to be offered this type of diagnostic tests before their treatment plan is agreed.

We are proud to have launched 16 linked diagnoses in key markets, aligned with four targeted AstraZeneca treatments, for patients with some of the most challenging diseases of our time, including lung and ovarian cancers. We are now beginning to use the same approach in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

We are also harnessing the power of genomics — the study of the entire genetic plan for life — through our Astrazeneca-Medimmune Genomics Initiative. This strategy, to analyze 2 million genomes by 2026, is an industry that is the first in scale and scope. It is enabling us to identify new goals and biomarkers of medicines by placing genomics at the centre of drug discovery and development.

Importantly, we recognize that we cannot achieve our ambitions on our own. We are working with the world's best partners — an extensive network of diagnostic companies, academic partners and genomic biotechnologies — to accelerate the delivery of targeted drugs and linked diagnostics. As we make Precision Medicine and Genomics our way of life, from identifying new pharmacological targets to marketing innovative new drugs, we are at the forefront of a revolution in patient care.


1. Organización Mundial de la salud. Disponible en: https://www.who.int/cancer/es/ Último acceso julio 2019