Posted tagged ‘cancer’

Program Offers Personalized Cancer Treatment for Lung Cancer Patients

February 19, 2015

For patients with advanced lung cancer, chemotherapy is generally the standard first-line treatment. However, all lung cancers are not identical. The Winship Cancer Institute lung cancer program in Georgia aims to address this issue by offering more personalized treatment. The institute has between 20 and 30 ongoing lung cancer clinical trials to test the effectiveness of immunotherapy drugs. The drugs are designed to provoke the immune system to target cancerous cells and leave the healthy ones alone.

The program staff has found that patients have been able to successfully tolerate the immunotherapy treatments. One of their patients with advanced lung cancer had previously received chemotherapy, which caused chronic diarrhea. After receiving the new treatment at Winship, he only experienced mild gastrointestinal discomfort, and his tumors shrank significantly over the course of nearly a year.

Winship scientists and clinicians are working to create and test personalized treatment regimens for each patient. For instance, they may need to boost immune response for one patient. For another, they may need to focus on response to treatment or the genes associated with a particular type of cancer.

When a patient comes to Winship, the staff takes a tissue sample of the tumor. Then they examine it in a genomic screening process to identify the exact gene that has gone astray and led to the person’s cancer. By finding the specific gene that has gone rogue, doctors and clinicians can provide more personalized and targeted therapies.

The Development of Targeted Cancer Therapies

January 30, 2014

Targeted therapies for cancer have created a revolution within the health care and pharmaceutical industries. Many current products exist in this expanding market, and many others are in various stages of research and development.

A targeted cancer therapy is a medication or other substance that interferes with the development and metastasis of the disease through defusing particular molecules involved, thus halting the disease or delaying its progression. Breast cancer was among the first types of cancer to receive targeted therapies.

Medical professionals frequently refer to the molecules involved as “molecular targets” when treating the disease. Because of this specific targeting, this type of treatment may be more effective, and less damaging to surrounding tissues and organs, than radiation or chemotherapy.

Most targeted therapies consist either of monoclonal antibodies or small-molecule drugs.

Different types of targeted cancer therapies interfere with cellular division and tumor growth in a variety of ways. Some attack cancer cells directly, while others focus on an indirect method through stimulating the immune system to deliver toxins to the cancer cells. Many other targeted therapies disrupt communication along cell pathways by engaging with the proteins involved in network signaling. Such blocking can destroy the cancer cells’ ability to divide and develop, and therefore can result in their destruction.

On the biotechnology investment front, one recent report forecasts nearly $33 billion in global revenue for small-molecule therapy products by the year 2016, which represents an increase of more than $10 billion from 2011 figures. The prospects for ongoing success in research and development of small-molecule therapies should remain strong over the next decade, with demand high in most of the world as populations age.