Cancer deaths have dropped to their lowest rate since 1991, mostly in part to fewer Americans smoking. This week’s BioBlog is filled with more good news from the world of oncology and cancer treatment, including advances in the treatment of breast cancer, renal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and brain tumors.


FDA Clears Stereotactic Radiotherapy System for Use in Treating Breast Cancer

The FDA recently cleared a new stereotactic radiotherapy system used to treat breast cancer. The GammaPod System is intended for use in noninvasive stereotactic delivery of radiation during breast-conserving treatment.The FDA cleared it on December 22, 2017, paving the way for the Xcision Medical Systems LLC product’s use.

GOP Obamacare quandary — easy to hate, hard to kill

Tear down, prop up, or otherwise change Obamacare? That’s the quandary facing Republicans as they wrestle with potential changes to the Affordable Care Act. A look at the battle that continues among representatives struggling with changes to the ACA.

Addition of Pazopanib to Paclitaxel in Persistent or Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

The addition of pazopanib to paclitaxel did not improve progression-free survival among women with persistent or recurrent ovarian cancer. The results of a double-blind study of 106 women, published in JAMA, found that the combination of pazopanib plus paclitaxel was “not superior” to paclitaxel along in the treatment of women with recurrent ovarian cancer.

FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Combination of Avelumab and Axitinib in Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

The FDA granted (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to avelumab (Bavencio) in combination with axitinib (Inlyta) for treatment-naive patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. Study details are included in this article.

Immune boosting virus could be used to treat brain tumors

A new brain cancer treatment uses a virus injected directly into the bloodstream to reach tumors deep inside the brain. Nine patients completed the trial, but if the results can be duplicated, a larger study can be done with the “reovirus” treatment.

Cancer Deaths Fall to Lowest Rate in Decades

Some good news in the war against cancer – deaths from cancer fell to their lowest rate since
1991. The reason for the drop? Americans are smoking less. More details in the original article.

In clinical trial, cream reduces squamous cell carcinoma risk

New results from a study indicate that generic skin cream fluorouacil 5 percent for two to four weeks may reduce the risk of a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) needing surgery by 75 percent within a year. The clinical trial included 900 military veterans at high risk for keratinocyte carcinoma skin cancer.

When the Lung Cancer Patient Climbs Mountains

Cutting-edge gene therapy is changing the lives of lung cancer patients. A look at how the landscape for treating – and living with – cancer is changing for both patients and oncologists.