View Full Version : Drug shows promise in lung cancer treatment

Apr 30, 2004, 04:43 PM
A recently invented drug powerfully shrinks tumors in lung cancer patients carrying a specific genetic marker, a discovery that physicians said will rapidly lead to the first effective treatment in a generation for the most lethal and widespread cancer.

The once-a-day pill, Iressa, was approved last May, but only as last-ditch therapy for patients with advanced lung cancer, because it worked only sporadically in clinical trials. A small percentage of patients experienced remarkable recoveries, with the drug extending their lives by a year or longer, and two Boston teams published studies yesterday pinpointing the patients who will benefit.

The impact will probably be immediate and dramatic: Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have already applied for a patent on a test that can pick out the patients likely to respond. Within months, lung cancer patients worldwide could get the drug from the moment of diagnosis, rather than having to first take the mostly ineffective and unpleasant chemotherapy now prescribed.

And those unlikely to benefit from it would be spared the time and cost of taking the expensive new drug, which is made by AstraZeneca.


Apr 30, 2004, 07:03 PM
Though only about 10 percent of patients respond to Iressa, that is still a sizable number. Lung cancer kills about 157,000 Americans annually, many of them just a few months after their tumors are discovered.

I was diagnosed with colon cancer only after My annual physical when I turned 50, and my doctor suggested a colonoscopy. I think if people realized the risk of cancer is overwhelming and were to submit to blood tests earlier in life the occurrence of cancer could be drastically reduced. My polyps were said to be almost 5 to 10 years old. Had I thought to be examined when I was 45 or even 40 I may never have had cancer at all. :cool:

baby duck monge
Apr 30, 2004, 07:10 PM
early diagnosis is certainly the best defense against cancer, but any new tools we have to fight this horrible disease are certainly a godsend! i hope that someday in the not-too-distant future (and this could be 50-75 years and i would still be more than thrilled) we find cures to all forms of cancer, or at least ways to make the quality of life towards the end much more bearable. many of the treatments we have now seem almost as bad as the cancer itself. :(

Apr 30, 2004, 07:25 PM
touché, ask anyone who has endured chemotherapy, it's no picnic (I've been there done that)

May 4, 2004, 04:28 PM
this should definately help me in the future