Targeted therapy for lung cancer proves effective

8 December 

A team from the University of Manchester's has found a new treatment that could be effective in lung cancer patients with a specific genetic change. 

For some patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) changes in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene can boost the development of their disease. A drug has been developed to target this gene and is delivered to ALK-positive lung cancer patients after they have received initial chemotherapy.  

However, now a team has researched the effectiveness of the treatment in patients that have not been given chemotherapy.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the research took 343 patients with previously untreated ALK-positive advanced NSCLC. It found that participants who received the drug did better in terms of reduced symptoms and growth than those on standard chemotherapy. In addition, the treatment had no unexpected side effects.

“There is growing evidence that such targeted therapies can offer greater hope to lung cancer patients,” added Dr Fiona Blackhall, a senior lecturer in the University of Manchester’s Institute of Cancer Sciences and a consultant based at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 

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