Can you survive lung cancer

Chances of survival with certain forms of lung cancer are increasing


The chances of survival for lung cancer patients have improved dramatically - especially the most common type of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, which accounts for around three quarters of lung cancer cases. This is what the pulmonologists of the German Society for Pneumology-Pneumology point out
Respiratory and pulmonary medicine (pulmonology) is a branch of internal medicine that deals with the prevention, detection and specialist treatment of diseases of the lungs, bronchi, mediastinum (middle skin) and pleura (pleura and lung).
and respiratory medicine (DGP) on the occasion of the 59th DGP Congress, which will take place from 15.-17. March 2018 took place in Dresden. "While the survival rate of patients was two percent five years after diagnosis in 2011, it has increased threefold since then and was six percent in 2017," reports Professor Dr. med. Niels Reinmuth, senior physician in the oncology department at the Asklepios specialist clinics in Munich-Gauting. This is mainly due to the advances in personalized cancer medicine, which enables the use of new, targeted drugs that attack cancer cells directly and are therefore more effective than standard therapy (chemotherapy or radiation therapy) and at the same time have significantly fewer side effects.

The genetic profile of the lung tumor decides whether a personalized therapy is an option

A genetic profile of the present lung cancer can be created on the basis of a precise analysis of the individual tumor cells and shows whether a patient is suitable for a personalized therapy. This is now the case with around 20 percent of those affected, and among never-smokers even with 50 percent. Oncologists attribute various tumor characteristics to certain genetic changes - for example to gene mutations in the cancer cells that drive the growth of a tumor. "A number of special drugs have already been developed to counteract such genetic changes, which block individual signals or signaling pathways of the cancer cells," explains Dr. Reinmuth. Such as monoclonal antibodies, monoclonal antibodies
These antibody cells (AK) are descendants of so-called cell hybrids, which were created by artificially fusing B lymphocytes with suitable tumor cells, whereby the B lymphocytes were previously sensitized to a specific antigen. Monoclonal AKs are directed against only one of the many different docking sites of a given antigen. In contrast, many different B lymphocytes and correspondingly many AKs are usually involved in the immune response to a conventional antigen.
that attach to receptors on the cancer cell surface and thus prevent growth or reproduction signals from arriving there. Other drugs such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors interrupt the signal chain within cancer cells.

Certified lung cancer centers offer highly qualified treatment options

Those affected should be treated in a certified lung cancer center of the German Cancer Society. "These highly specialized treatment centers offer high-quality therapy for lung cancer patients - in every phase and in every area of ​​their disease," emphasizes Dr. Reinmuth. Even in patients in stage IV, who are actually considered to have been out of therapy, personalized cancer medicine can still significantly extend survival. "At the same time, patients in lung cancer centers drive research and thus medical progress: the more carcinogenic mutations that are examined, the faster new, targeted drugs can be developed," explains Dr. Reinmuth.

Source: Press conference of the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) on March 15, 2018 on the occasion of the 59th DGP Congress in Dresden

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