Cancer, perhaps more than any other word in the developed world, has the power to make one’s blood run cold. It’s a ruthless killer, and virtually nothing can block its path once it has spread. Despite our technologies and advancements, our medical schools, and countless doctors devoted to the cause, cancer remains a very real threat, a disease with no cure.

Still, though, there’s hope. We’ve come up with treatments that 50 years ago would have seemed impossible. We’ve thrown cancers into remission that had previously been dubbed “incurable.” We’re using tools in different ways with fantastic results and turning to unlikely substances to help us in the war against malignant cells. Cancer may still be terrifying — and perhaps it always will be — but the strides we’ve made against it make a cure seem not only possible, but within reach.

Here, check out Medical Daily’s five most important breakthroughs on the cancer front.