Report: Lung Cancer Transforms during Treatment


A recent study revealed that some forms of lung cancer can change genetically during treatment.

A team of scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center studied non-small cell lung cancer, the deadliest cancer in the world, and found that during the course of treatment the cancer changed on a cellular level. These cancers, which are sometimes treated with targeted drug therapy, changed genetically, showing signs of resistance to the drugs.

Lead author Dr. Lecia Sequist said in a MGH news release that, “Our findings suggest that, when feasible, oncogene-driven cancers should be interrogated with repeat biopsies throughout the course of the disease. Doing so could both contribute to greater understanding of acquired resistance and give caregivers better information about whether resumption of targeted therapy or initiation of a standard therapy would be most appropriate for an individual patient."

Sequist also said that cancers can evolve over time and that if oncologists are not taking repeat biopsies, they “may be blind to the implications of these changes simply because we haven’t been looking for them.”

Source: HealthDay News
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