The Future of Lung Cancer Care Is Combinations


Immunotherapy revolutionized the way we treat cancer. And now, researchers are using drugs to help jumpstart the immune system alongside chemotherapy to keep treatment moving forward.

Cutting-edge clinical trials are monitoring how well these combinations work in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. In one of the features, these trials are discussed in more depth — the agents used, which protein or mutation they target, and, most important, how patients are faring. So far, researchers have seen positive results, and they are learning more about toxicities that can plague patients. One of those patients shares her journey with stage 4 disease that spread to her lymph nodes, bones and vertebrae. Finding the last spot in a combination immunotherapy clinical trial that was testing investigational therapies, she took a chance, despite her fears, and qualified.

Also in this special issue of CURE®, we feature an article on second cancers and the risk associated with them following lung cancer diagnosis and treatment. According to one of the leading experts in the field, the risk of a second lung cancer for small cell lung cancer survivors rises from about 2 percent a year to almost 10 percent a year after a decade. The feature delves into the research and discusses ways in which patients and survivors can lower their risk.

Another concern in cancer care are disparities that exist. For instance, findings from a new study shed light on the initial management of patients with nonmetastatic small cell lung cancer. Although a standard of care is in place, a large percentage of patients are not receiving that care, which negatively affects their survival. Not only disease type, but race and socioeconomic status may also be crucial impediments to care.

And what happens when lung cancer hits patients under 50? The vice president of support and survivorship programs for LUNGevity Foundation pulls back the curtain on the unmet needs of younger adults with the disease. Feelings of isolation or fear of being stigmatized, plus fertility, finances and dating/ relationship concerns top the list. LUNGevity provides advice, tools and resources that may be able to help individuals. Also in this issue, why surgery remains imperative in nonsmall cell lung cancer, a breakthrough blood test and a link between smoking, sex hormones and lung cancer.

As always, thank you for reading.

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