Advancing Treatment of Advanced Lung Cancer

Lung cancer mutation consortium using genomic research for individualized therapies

(RxWiki News) Advancements in medicine are moving toward targeted therapy - treatments that target the exact cause of an individual's cancer. These advancements are being tested in advanced lung cancer.

The Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium (LCMC) is looking for the genetic changes - or mutations - that cause lung cancer cells to grow out of control, in the hopes of finding individualized treatment options.

"Targeted therapy helping to find individualized treatments for advanced lung cancer."

The program is designed to demonstrate the possibility of testing tumors when the disease is first diagnosed. Researchers contend that the results from these genetic tests can be used to recommend the most effective targeted therapy or clinical trial for each patient.

Researchers have already discovered at least one of the 10 known genetic mutations that occur in two-thirds of patients with advanced lung cancer.

While the study is ongoing, patient participants have been able to receive treatment that specifically targets the mutation found in their tumors. Or, if treatment isn't seen as being helpful, patients are offered the option of participating in clinical trials.

The treatments targeted several mutations and used several different drugs, including: Tarceva, Herceptin, Tykerb and crizotinib, a new drug currently being studied.

Lead author Mark G. Kris, MD, Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center says the idea behind this consortium is to create ways for institutions to routinely test for tumor mutations at the time of diagnosis and to use the results to choose the best therapy for each patient.

This is another example of how personalized medicine continues to advance.

Findings from this ongoing study were presented at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

More people in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated that 222,520 people were diagnosed with and 157,300 people died from lung cancer in 2010.

Review Date: 
June 23, 2011