Partly cloudy. Low 66F. Winds light and variable..
Partly cloudy. Low 66F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: May 14, 2022 @ 9:13 pm
Dr. Sunil Gandhi
Cancer & Blood Disease
Dr. Sunil Gandhi
Cancer & Blood Disease
Lung cancer accounts for one-fourth of all cancer deaths in the United States. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women worldwide.
The earlier we diagnose lung cancer, the higher the chance of cure. Most lung cancers are non-small cell (or NSCLC) and account for almost 85 percent of all lung cancers.
About one-fourth of all patients who are diagnosed with NSCLC have resectable disease. However, from 30 percent to 55 percent of patients who undergo surgery with curative intent ultimately experience recurrence and die from their disease.
If we diagnose NSCLC early, surgery is the treatment of choice. We commonly give chemotherapy and immunotherapy after surgery to kill microscopic cells and that has shown to improve survival and increase cure rate. Still, cancer can recur and kill the patient.
A landmark study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). In this study, patients with stage 1B to 3A were randomized to be treated with chemotherapy and immunotherapy or chemotherapy alone for two months and then the patient was taken to surgery.
Among 358 patients in the trial, the median event-free survival (EFS) was 31.6 months for patients randomly assigned to the combination of the immune checkpoint inhibitor or immunotherapy nivolumab and chemotherapy, compared with 20.8 months for patients assigned to chemotherapy alone.
This sort of immunotherapy in addition to chemotherapy did not add any significant serious side effects. Immunotherapy boosts the patient’s immune system and then the immune system kills cancer. It does not cause nausea, vomiting, hair loss or low blood count. It is usually better tolerated.
More interesting was at the time of surgery, almost 1 out of 4 (24 percent) of the patients on combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy had no cancer left. This is amazing and unprecedented.
A lot more research is done in this area. At the same time, advances like these really help. After a long time, we have a new and powerful weapon against lung cancer and more people with lung cancers are being cured due to it. This is just the beginning. A lot more new drugs are in the research pipeline that are extremely promising and will likely change the course of cancer treatment.
If somebody is diagnosed with lung cancer, he or she should see a medical oncologist before surgery is done and after surgery to get the best care. New such advances are happening on a regular basis.
Dr. Sunil Gandhi is a hematologist and oncologist. He is the volunteer medical adviser of the Citrus Unit of American Cancer Society. Write to 521 N. Lecanto Highway, Lecanto, FL 34461, email email@example.com or call 352-746-0707.
Your comment has been submitted.
There was a problem reporting this.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.
Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.
We have used your information to see if you have a subscription with us, but did not find one. Please use the button below to verify an existing account or to purchase a new subscription.
Your current subscription does not provide access to this content. Please use the button below to manage your account.
Activate your Account. Print and digital subscribers receive unlimited access to Chronicleonline.com
Click to activate your account.