Exchange traded funds (ETFs) that invest in health care, and more specifically cancer, could be influenced by the news that death rates from cancer have been dropping by an average of 2.1% a year in the U.S., which is a near doubling of decreases that began in 1993, according to researchers. The progress in fighting cancer hasn’t come from cures, it’s come more from prevention. However, in the U.S., cancer remains the second leading cause of death after heart disease, with 559,650 deaths expected this year, reports Denise Grady for The New York Times.

Two ETFs that invest in cancer-fighting companies include the HealthShares Emerging Cancer (HHJ) and the HealthShares Cancer (HHK). HHJ invests in small-cap pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies that have been identified as emerging cancer companies. These companies are engaged in the research, clinical development and/or commercialization of therapeutic agents for the treatment of a wide variety of cancers. Its top three holdings include Dendreon (DNDN) at 8.0%, Xoma (XOMA) at 8.0% and GPC Biotech AG (GPCB) at 6.7%. Currently, HHJ is down 2.1% for the last three months, having launched in January. Its expense ratio is 0.75%.

HHK invests in large- to mid-cap health care, life sciences and/or biotechnology companies that have been identified as cancer companies. Similar to HHJ, these companies are engaged in the research clinical development and/or commercialization of therapeutic agents for the treatment of a wide variety of cancers. Its top three holdings include Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) at 11.9%, Pharmion (PHRM) at 6.5% and United Therapeutics (UTHR) at 5.4%. Currently, HHK is up 14.5% for the last three months, having launched in March. Its expense ratio is also 0.75%.

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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.