We’re 10 Years Stronger!
On our 10th Anniversary of Upstage Lung Cancer, many advances have occurred. Looking forward, there are good reasons for hope. Over the past 10 years, ULC has invested $2 million in early detection research with our partners.
Here are 10 reasons we are 10 years stronger today.
1. In 2011, a 53,000-patient study demonstrated a 20% decrease in lung cancer deaths through CT screening. Low dose CT scans are now available for screening individuals who are at high risk for developing lung cancer. Screening helps find lung cancer in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable. Unfortunately, less than 5% of people who qualify are getting these life-saving screening tests. We are dedicated to helping more people get these important scans.
2. More new treatments for lung cancer have been approved by the FDA in the past 3 years than in the last 3 decades combined!
3. By identifying tumor mutations, drugs have been developed to directly target those mutations in advanced lung cancer. As of now, doctors have identified more than 10 such “driver” mutations that are approved for treatment or are being tested in clinical trials, EGFR, ALK. ROS1, BRAF v600e (approved) HER2, RET, MET (being tested and promising), KRAS, HER3, and others. The list is growing. Lung cancer treatment is leading the field of precision medicine.
4. When a targeted therapy is no longer effective, patients now have access to first-, second- and third-generation drugs. Doctors now have more “tools in their toolbox” to treat patients.
5. New treatment options are emerging even for rare “driver” mutations.
6. Immunotherapy, a type of treatment that activates a patient’s own immune system to fight their lung cancer, is now an available treatment option for advanced-stage NSCLC patients.
7. Notably, doctors now combine immunotherapy with traditional treatment options, such as chemotherapy, to bring even more potentially effective treatment options to patients.
8. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most prevalent (80-85%). We have made considerable advances in understanding hard-to-treat subtypes of lung cancers, (i.e., KRAS gene.) Now, we know that KRAS-positive has specific subtypes that may require individualized treatments.
9. Small cell lung cancer (10-15% occurrence) progresses quickly. The standard of care for the past three decades has been chemotherapy. Doctors are now testing both targeted therapies and immunotherapies to treat SCLC in clinical trials.
10. Last but not least, there are now “liquid biopsies.” Using a blood sample instead of lung tissue, monitoring circulating tumor DNA can complement or even replace traditional biopsies in monitoring patients. This method is less invasive, less time consuming, and less expensive than traditional biopsies.
So many advances give us reason for hope, yet lung cancer remains the #1 cancer killer. Thank you for joining our efforts to make a difference.
Contact us at www.UpstageLungCancer.org ; info@UpstageLungCancer.org 617.835.9722