Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Chief of Thoracic Oncology Mark Kris offers his perspective on a promising new tactic for treating lung and other cancers in this story from CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. The strategy tailors cancer treatment to each individual patient. Here’s an excerpt:
Researchers have identified hundreds of different genetic defects or mutations that help make each cancer unique. The idea is to identify a specific mutation and find a drug that targets it. In breast cancer, more than 100 mutations have been discovered. These mutations lead to defective proteins that make the cells replicate out of control. Targeted drugs hone in on those proteins and disable them, killing cancer cells while leaving healthy ones alone. “What we’ve done here is set up a system that can detect the presence of 91 different mutations [for lung cancer],” said Dr. Mark Kris.