Lung cancer experts optimistic about research, treament progress
By Cliff Collins The Scribe
A significant development during the past decade has been the "evolution of lung cancer to a disease of many genetically and clinically distinct subgroups," which has allowed doctors to treat their patients' lung cancer with more precision, said Anthony Van Ho, MD, a medical oncologist and hematologist with Compass Oncology.
Prior to that, knowledge of lung cancer biology was lacking, he said, and the cancer was managed as a single disease entity where therapeutic approaches to advanced-stage disease were based on the patient's condition: Patients were offered hospice care or standard chemotherapy.
"With our increased knowledge in the molecular make-up of lung cancer cells and the immunology of the lung cancer, doctors are able to tailor treatment to target a molecular marker on the tumor cells or modulate the immune system to 'wake-up' the T-cells that will then kill the cancer cells," Van Ho said.