Targeted therapy for lung cancer patients shows promise in extending lives

ng molecular profiling on each patient's tumor will enable us to identify patients who are more likely to respond and to have a favorable response. We are looking to achieve tumor shrinkage with minimal side effects. We are hopeful that this type of research will provide a kinder, gentler, more effective therapy for lung cancer patients.

"This is the most exciting thing going on in lung cancer today. For the next two decades, this will be the wave of the future in treatment."

Patients with stage IV lung cancer who receive one course of chemotherapy have side effects of nausea, vomiting and can feel worn down. This two-pill combination is not chemotherapy, and it's less toxic to the body; patients do not experience nausea and vomiting. The targeted therapy can help some patients feel better and live longer. The side effects of these pills, which are less bothersome than that of traditional chemotherapy, include an acne-like rash and diarrhea.

Bonomi says that such seriously ill lung cancer patients might be expected to live four to six months without treatment. Tarceva, one of the combination drugs, has recently been reported to increase survival. In general, survival improvement for patients with advanced stage lung cancer have been modest- adding several months to longevity. "And while that doesn't seem like a lot of time, that may mean a lot to cancer patients planning to attend a graduation, anniversary or upcoming birthday in the next few months."

Over 170,000 new incidences of lung cancer are reported every year.

The other sites in the study are Rush North Shore, Skokie, Ill.; Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville.

To enroll in the study, please call 312-942-5687.


Contact: Mary Ann Schultz
Rush University Medical Center

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