Medicines achieve breakthrough in the treatment of lung cancer
Existing cancer treatment could in the future be used to treat a common form of lung cancer for which no specific therapy is currently available. Researchers have now found that such treatment blocks cell growth in a subtype of lung cancer.
The University of Glasgow scientists found in their current investigation that an existing cancer treatment method appears to be effective even with a common form of lung cancer. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Science Translational Medicine".
Combination with other therapies could help those affected
The latest results have now raised hopes among experts that a large number of patients could benefit from the treatment when used in combination with additional therapies. Perhaps such treatment can be used in the near future for use in patients, since it is already approved for the treatment of other types of cancer, the scientists explain.
Millions of people die of lung cancer every year
Lung cancer kills more than 1.5 million people worldwide each year. In the current study, the researchers examined what is known as adenocarcinoma, the largest subspecies of lung cancer. A third of adenocarcinoma carcinomas carry a mutated gene called KRAS, which, according to medical experts, requires the activity of one of the four EGFR / ERBB growth factor receptors to drive cell proliferation.
Second generation EGFR inhibitor prevents tumor formation
There are currently no KRAS-inhibiting drugs to treat these cancers, and first-generation EGFR drugs have shown no benefit for this type of cancer, the authors explain. However, the researchers found that unlike first generation EGFR inhibitors, a second generation EGFR inhibitor (a multi-ERBB inhibitor) blocked the proliferation of KRAS-mutated lung cancer cells in laboratory studies and the formation of KRAS-induced lung cancer tumors in mice prevented.
Are new treatment methods available in the near future?
There is an urgent need to develop alternative strategies for a more effective treatment of KRAS-driven lung cancer, explains the study author Dr. Daniel Murphy from the University of Glasgow. The results of the current investigation are a promising breakthrough that hopefully will be used by patients in the near future, the doctor adds.
Combined treatment led to a significant increase in life expectancy
The inhibitor investigated by the experts, a multi-ERBB inhibitor, helped to sensitize tumors. This was of therapeutic benefit when used in combination with another cancer drug called trametinib, which resulted in a significant increase in lifespan, the researchers report.
Adverse effects can occur
Based on the current results, doctors now hope that lung cancer patients with KRAS-based form of lung cancer can benefit from the inclusion of this inhibitor in their treatment plan in the future. Undesirable side effects of these drugs on normal tissue remain a problem, but new strategies to limit the delivery of these drugs to the tumor site could reduce such side effects and greatly improve the utility of this class of therapeutic agents, the study authors explain.
More research is needed
Further studies are now needed to find out whether such treatment is effective in humans and what side effects it can cause. New and improved ways of treating lung cancer are urgently needed, the doctors explain.
Cancer cases could increase by 80 percent by 2035
A separate study released on Thursday by Cancer Research UK predicts that the number of older cancer patients could increase by 80 percent by 2035. It has been found that around 130,000 Britons develop cancer every year at the age of 75. In 2035, this number is expected to increase to 234,000 people a year, mainly due to an aging population, the experts explain. (as)