Lung Cancer, A Deathly Danger Has New Options


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Lung cancer, which is the leader cause of cancer death in the United States, kills more people than breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancers combined according to the Mayo Clinic. This is a worldwide health concern that reports 1.6 million new cases every year.

According to Edward S. Kim, M.D., "Lung cancer remains one of the most difficult-to-treat cancers. New prognostic markers to guide treatment decisions in early-stage, non-small cell lung cancer are necessary to improve outcomes for patients."

Symptoms may include heavy coughing, producing blood when coughing, headaches, chest and bone pains, headaches, and a shortness of breath. Though smoking is a main cause of the disease there are additional factors that can increase the odds of a potential diagnosis. Other factors include exposure to second hand smoke, radon gas, asbestos, and a family history of the disease.

Many tests have been used to monitor the disease such as x-rays, CT scans, biopsies, and sputum cytology. Typical treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and targeted drug therapy. However, there are now additional options.

A new potential test, myPlan Lung Cancer test, has shown to be a predictor in lung cancer deaths.

Mark Capone, the president of Myriad Genetics Laboratories, said, "myPlan Lung Cancer is an important new molecular diagnostic tool that will help physicians in predicting the aggressiveness of early-stage lung cancer in conjunction with conventional clinical parameters. Publication of these data is an important milestone as we prepare to launch myPlan Lung Cancer later this fiscal year."

European residents will be happy to hear that additional sources are available. The European Commission has recently authorized afatinib monotherapy to treat Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) where afatinib will be sold under the name of GIOTRIF.

A spokesman from Boehringer Ingelheim, Professor Klaus Dugi, the Corporate Senior Vice President of Medicine said, “We are delighted with the decision by the European Commission. We hope this will be the first of many registrations for drugs from our in-house oncology research program. The approval of afatinib in Europe reinforces our commitment to bringing the right treatments to the right patients. This is a significant step towards meeting the substantial unmet need in lung cancer treatment.”

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]