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New Cancer Breakthroughs

New cancer drugs are showing very promising results. Some say it’s the beginning of a new era in cancer treatment — and prevention.

Scientists have developed new and surprisingly effective treatments for cancer that have doctors chattering -- and patients crossing their fingers. (AP)

Scientists have developed new and surprisingly effective treatments for cancer that have doctors chattering -- and patients crossing their fingers. (AP)

The headlines on cancer treatment are very arresting lately. On lung cancer, skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer -– talk of breakthroughs and new understanding.

Talk of a new era. Almost all of it goes to a closer genetic understanding of individual tumors and how to target them.

A million and a half Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year. About half a million will die from malignancies.

We’ve waited and hoped so long for a cure that we’re wary of breakthrough talk.

But something new is happening.

This hour On Point: a new era in tackling cancer.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Dr. George Sledge, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Ron Winslow, health & sciences deputy bureau chief at the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Stephen Hodi, director of the Melanoma Treatment Center at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Katherine Harmon, a health reporter for Scientific American, who has written about the connection between cancer and cell phone use.

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