Studies find new ways to use immune-boosting lung cancer drugs

Studies find new ways to use immune-boosting lung cancer drugs

A study on lung cancer patients found that activating the immune system can prompt tumours into spreading friendly T-cells around the body, significantly reducing the chance of cancer returning after surgery.

This Dream Team's approach, created to arrest disease progression within the microenvironment, expands the scope of SU2C's Cancer Interception research portfolio. "These T cells can intervene, stopping errant tumor cells from forming new metastases, preventing recurrence", says Stand Up To Cancer President and CEO Sung Poblete, PhD, RN.

"This notion of "cancer interception" has the potential to stop cancer in its tracks".

"Chemotherapy remains the standard of care for the majority of [lung cancer] patients, and is a very poor standard", explained Dr. Leena Gandhi, lead author of the NYU Langone study. SU2C is now funding four Cancer Interception teams focusing on lung and pancreatic cancer.

Teams are now setting out to trial the method on patients with blood, colon and ovarian cancers in what could be the start of a fundamental shift in treatment of the disease.

The researchers involved in both studies are scheduled to present their findings Monday at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting, in Chicago. The result is yet another notch in the belt of immunotherapies that are quickly moving from research labs into clinics, with exciting results for many cancers.

Previously, chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy is given to lung cancer patients to shrink a large, non-metastasized tumor while immunotherapeutic agents have been administered after surgery with limited results.

But the combination approach "resulted in a marked improvement in response, progression-free survival and overall survival in all patients", she said. The report shows that 3.8 million people were diagnosed with cancer each year and more than 2.2 million patients died.

For non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer patients, median survival with chemotherapy alone is somewhere around 11 or 12 months, he said. It's the biggest win so far for immunotherapy, which has had much of its success until now in less common cancers.

Dr. Jorge Gomez, a volunteer spokesperson for the American Lung Association and a medical oncologist and director of thoracic oncology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NY, explained that "about 220,000 patients are diagnosed with lung cancer a year in the U.S.". SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry's resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease.

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