Digital News Report – Lung cancer researchers are finding potentially better drugs and better ways to remove cancerous tumors.
Erlotinib is a drug designed to help patients who did not respond to the first-line of chemotherapy. “These patients have an extremely poor prognosis and few treatment options” said Dr Tudor Ciuleanu from the institute of Oncology Ion Chiricuta, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Dr Ciuleanu announced results of a study at the European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology (EMCTO) last week.
It was believed that while erlotinib was better tolerated, it was not as effective when compared to traditional chemotherapy. The TITAN study was initiated to determine whether erlotinib was as effective.
The researchers said that there was “no difference” in overall survival rates. “The likelihood of side-effects is a serious consideration for patients who are already physically unwell due to the advanced stage of their disease,” Dr Ciuleanu added.
Italian researchers told the conference that they have discovered a better way to remove potentially cancerous material from lungs.
Dr Luca Bertolaccini, Dr Alberto Terzi and colleagues from Santa Croce e Carle Hospital in Cuneo, Italy said that radio-guided surgery was safe and “more effective” than other techniques.
Their technique has been used to remove single pulmonary nodules in lungs. The new imaging technologies are spotting these nodules more frequently. If these single nodules are found to be cancerous, surgeons need to remove them quickly.
The current method to biopsy these nodules is Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). It is difficult to use this technique for localized small, deep, or non-solid lung nodules.
“The problem is that such lesions are usually peripheral, making bronchoscopic approaches to diagnosis unsuccessful, while the accuracy of CT-guided biopsy is hindered by the small diameter and by the patient’s respiratory movements during the exam,” Bertolaccini said.
By Jason Chang
Image: Lung small cell carcinoma by core needle biopsy – Wikimedia Commons