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Posted by on Dec 11, 2018 in Lung cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This paper is about how to diagnose, treat, and follow up on non-small cell lung cancer cases that have spread through the body. The paper overall noted that non-small cell lung cancer which has spread is often very aggressive and hard to treat, and that methods of treatment are still being developed.  

Some background

Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for 90% of all lung cancers. There are many different types of non-small cell lung cancer. While lung cancer is often associated with smoking cigarettes, recently there have been more and more cases that are found in people who have never smoked.

Methods & findings

The paper looked at the ways in which non-small cell lung cancer is diagnosed. It noted that many patients with non-small cell lung cancer arrive at the hospital with late-stage disease which cannot be operated on. Therefore most doctors agree that the best way to diagnose non-small cell lung cancers is by taking a small piece of the tumor (or a second tumor which has grown from the first one spreading) and looking at it under a microscope. Sometimes non-small cell lung cancers can have abnormal genes which make it easier or harder to treat. An example of this is the EGFR mutation.

The paper noted that it is important to assess the risk posed by the cancer when diagnosing it, and give it a stage. This stage tells the doctors how much the cancer has grown or developed.

A very important part of non-small cell lung cancer is figuring out how to treat it, especially if it is advanced, or has spread. It is very common for non-small cell lung cancers to spread. The first thing that the paper says should be done to treat non-small cell lung cancer is for the patient to stop smoking, if they currently do. It was suggested in the paper that the different types of non-small cell lung cancer should be treated based on what kind of cancer it is, and what kind of mutations it has. Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is considered the first treatment for any non-small cell lung cancer.

A very common place for non-small cell lung cancers to spread to is the brain. The paper said that doctors should be aware of this, and treat based on the type of tumor and also how likely the patient is to survive.

Overall it was noted that patients should be closely followed after treatment, at least every 6-8 weeks, and if needed, a second round of treatment should start as soon as possible.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that treating non-small cell lung cancers is difficult, and treatment should be tailored to the individual patient.

The fine print

This is a comprehensive overview of how treatment for non-small cell lung cancers has progressed.

What’s next?

Speak to your oncologist about what kind of treatment is right for you.

Published By :

Annals of oncology: official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology

Date :

Oct 01, 2018

Original Title :

Metastatic non-small cell lung cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

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