Advances in personalized treatments have contributed to the decrease in deaths associated with lung cancer. Personalized medicine has been a game-changer in treating this condition, and therapies targeting a patient’s tumor have been developed to make the treatment efficient.
How Targeted Therapy Works
Personalized medicine enables cancer diagnosis to be more accurate and the treatment process more effective since it analyzes a patient’s tumor’s specific genetic makeup. This approach is practical for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSLC), which makes up 90% of all lung cancer cases. During the diagnosis, the doctor performs a biopsy by obtaining a tissue sample from a patient’s tumor and assessing it under a microscope to establish the type of cancer. With personalized medicine, lung cancer Newport Beach doctors will perform comprehensive biomarker testing to assess proteins and specific gene mutations linked to lung cancer. It enables the health care professional to determine whether the patient requires an FDA-approved targeted therapy or chemotherapy.
Common Gene Mutations And Treatments
Personalized treatments target patients’ proteins and gene mutations and cause minimal side effects. The approach zeroes in on various cancer cells to prevent damage to healthy ones. They are often used during stage IV but can also be given to the patients earlier in certain situations. Unlike chemotherapy, the medications are taken each day as pills and have helped control cancer for years. If the symptoms come back eventually, the doctor may perform a biomarker test again to establish whether the patient has a new mutation which helps guide the treatment process.
Common mutations and their treatment include.
- EGFR: This mutation is common for non-smokers. Patients with stage IV cancer and those who have had a successful surgery with earlier stage lung cancer are provided with an EGFR-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) pill.
- ALK: Individuals with ALK-positive lung cancer are usually non-smokers and younger. Patients with stage IV lung cancer are prescribed ALK inhibitors and may be given Pemetrexed chemotherapy which works best with this type of cancer.
- ROS-1: This gene is usually part of the CD74 gene and causes uncontrollable cancer cell growth. This condition is mainly seen in younger non-smokers and individuals with this cancer who have the ROS1 inhibitor pill prescribed.
Lung cancer is a fatal and complex disease. Recent discoveries of activating fusion genes involving ALK and mutations in EGFR have facilitated the development of personalized treatment for lung cancer. The use of biomarkers has benefited several patients, which improves survival rates.