Experts from Memorial Sloan Kettering discuss current approaches to treating lung cancer and research to develop new treatments.
According to medical oncologist Mark Kris, Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service, studies show that chemotherapy drugs can increase survival when given with other treatments such as surgery and radiation therapy. Targeted therapies, which block specific cellular processes that promote the growth of tumors, can be combined with chemotherapy drugs to enhance the overall effectiveness.
Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering are evaluating more than 30 new drugs to treat lung cancer. In addition to targeted therapies, investigations are under way to evaluate immune therapies that might enhance the effectiveness of other lung cancer treatments. The institution’s Integrative Medicine Service also offers acupuncture, yoga, information about herbs and other dietary supplements, and other complementary therapies for people with cancer, and for cancer survivors.
Radiation oncologist Andreas Rimner says it is never too late to quit smoking, even if you have already been diagnosed with cancer. He cites studies that show that people who quit can lower their risk of lung cancer, and those who have cancer are better able to tolerate treatment and live longer if they are smoke-free.