Almost half as many teenagers and young adults are dying from cancer today as did in the 1970s, according to a report from Cancer Research UK published Monday.

Deaths between 2008-2010 in this age group were around 300 a year, down from 580 a year in the period 1975-1977.

The largest improvement was in those diagnosed with leukaemia with more specialised treatments believed to be behind the drop, said the report, "Cancer Statistics Report: Teenage and Young Adult Cancer."

The study revealed that around 2,100 people aged 15-24 years old are diagnosed with cancer each year in Britain.

"It's fantastic to see such a fall in the number of young people dying from some types of cancers during this time," said Simon Davies, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust.

"However, many of the rarer cancers which affect young people like sarcomas have made little or no progress.

"More investment in rare cancer research is urgently needed," he warned.