Lung cancer is a serious medical condition which is caused by an uncontrolled multiplication of cancer cells in the lungs. Studies have suggested that every year more than 20,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer.
A benign tumor in the lungs is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in women and men. Medical research has found that there are two kinds of lung cancer that people develop i.e. non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. The types are only diagnosed based on how bad the cells look under a microscope. Doctors hope that different types of high profile treatment therapies could help beat the disease. With the recent news of newest treatment therapy for lung cancer, patients and doctors feel ecstatic that there is a hope.
How Is Lung Cancer Treated?
Lung cancer is usually treated with traditional cancer treatment methods. Lung cancer treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy as well as other alternative treatments. Depending on the stage and the type of lung cancer, the treatment options may include a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. However, there is always a risk of side effects that accompany the treatment.
New Treatment Scenarios
Till not so long ago, lung cancer was generally treated with conventional methods. With advancement in the medical field, new research has introduced targeted therapies and complementary medicines which have shown favorable results for lung cancer patients in various clinical trials.
It was also reported in the Science Daily recently that in lab tests, this new drug delivery system, wherein the chemotherapeutic drugs are inhaled, apparently reduced the damage that chemotherapy generally causes to other healthy organs of the body as well as improved the treatment of the tumors in the lungs.
New Therapy for Lung Cancer
Targeted therapy is the latest therapy for lung cancer. Unlike traditional treatments, these treatments target proteins on the cancer cells that have been attacked by the tumor while it attempts to grow. Drugs like Erlotnib and Bevacizumab (Avastatin) are induced to target specific cancer cells.
How Does This Therapy Work?
The drugs used in targeted therapy come in contact and breaks into the cancer cell. The cancer cells that are malignant and are the primary cause of metastasis are thus prevented from spreading further.
Targeted therapies are immensely powerful and can cause cancer cell death directly. The specific drug (Apoptosis) stimulates the immune system to destroy the cancer cells.
Some of the targeted therapies that are being developed and interfere with the variety of cellular processes are:
Pertuzamab and much more
How Are These Therapies Developed
The development of the targeted therapies therefore requires identification of the best targets. These targets are known to play a key role in stopping cancer growth. Once the target has been identified, a precise therapy is developed. Majority of the targeted therapies are monoclonal antibodies or small molecule drug that acts on the target found in the inner part of the cells. Before the use of the drug these antibodies are humanized by replacing as much of the animal portion with human portion. The entire process is done through genetic engineering.
Side Effect Of Targeted Therapy
As of now, no severe side effects have been noted in patients undergoing the therapy. There are minor short term side effects such as fatigue, nausea, cough, hair loss and skin allergy. Apart from these there are no other major problems.
Witnessing the number of lung cancer cases that are growing each year, there is a lot of awareness/campaigning being done. “No smoking and Drinking” banners are used to spread knowledge about this killer disease. If you are a smoker or drinker, take a moment to think about how severe the toll of lung cancer can be on yourself and your loved ones.
Nutritional, well-balanced diet, clean living, exercise and a balanced lifestyle is the key to reducing the risk of all types of cancers including that of the lung.
Author Bio: Sameer Gupta is a medical writer who writes well-researched, in-depth cancer articles which provide relevant information to help patients combat the deadly disease.