New liquid biopsy-based cancer model reveals data on deadly lung cancer
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IMAGE: Allison Stewart, Ph.D. view more 

Credit: MD Anderson Cancer Center

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for 14 percent of all lung cancers and is often rapidly resistant to chemotherapy resulting in poor clinical outcomes. Treatment has changed little for decades, but a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center offers a potential explanation for why the disease becomes chemoresistant, and a possible avenue to explore new diagnostic approaches.

Findings from the study were presented today, at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018 in Chicago by Allison Stewart, Ph.D., Research Scientist in Thoracic Head & Neck Medical Oncology.

“There have been few therapeutic advances in the past 30 years and platinum-based chemotherapy remains the standard of care. As a result, five-year survival is less than 7 percent across all stages,” said Lauren Byers, M.D., associate professor of Thoracic Head & Neck Medical Oncology, and the study’s principle investigator. “Most patients respond well to platinum chemotherapy initially, but relapse within a few months. There are no highly effective second-line therapies.”

The challenge in studying why and how SCLC chemoresistance occurs is due to the fact that most patients do not undergo another biopsy

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