New developments in the field of treatment of lung cancer are reducing the mortality rate. Anadolu Medical Center Medical Oncology Specialist Professor, who stated that due to the developments in lung cancer treatments since 2013, there has been a decrease of 3 to 6 in mortality. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, “Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. In the last 30 years, the effectiveness of the treatments in lung cancer has also made a significant contribution to the decrease in the 30 percent mortality rate in cancer ”. Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal talked about the latest developments in diagnosis and treatment on the occasion of 17 November World Lung Cancer Day.
Reminding that at the meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) held in the United States in 2000, it was reported that 4 different chemotherapy regimens were compared, patients responded to these treatments on average 20% and the average survival was 8 months, Anadolu Medical Center Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, "Since then, especially since 2013, there has been a 3 to 6 percent decrease in the death rates due to lung cancer."
Survival rate increased in lung cancer
Underlining that the treatment was approved in 2020 new indications in lung cancer only in 9, Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, “4 of them are completely new drugs. Response rates to these treatments range from 50 to 85 percent. Average disease-free survival ranged from 10 to 25 months. "While the average survival rate has increased in many types of lung cancer, especially in metastatic cancer patients with positive ALK gene mutation, the average survival has risen above 5 years."
Soon, targeted therapy will be available in lung cancer
Also this year, Medical Oncology Specialist Professor, who stated that it was shown in an early study that the response rates in lung cancer patients with KRAS mutation (change in the KRAS gene) were 32 percent and in patients with HER2 mutation examined in breast cancer patients were 60 percent. Dr. “It looks like we will soon have the opportunity to control over 10 targets in lung cancer patients and deliver targeted, tumor-directed therapies,” said Serdar Turhal.
Underlining that another promising treatment development is "immune check point inhibitor therapies", Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, “We have 5 drugs here and if the related PD-L1 mutation is high, the 5-year survival of the patients is at the level of 32 percent even at the metastatic level. This mutation is seen in about 30 percent of patients, ”he said.
It will be beneficial for new treatments to reach patients properly
Expressing that the application of dual targeted therapies to patients since this year, Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, "We expect the studies to be announced in the upcoming period that these treatments are beneficial in the early stage, namely in patients with surgical removal of the tumor, in the upcoming period, but we do not have any evidence for this yet."
Stating that the developments in the treatment of lung cancer are promising, but as a result, the first priority is still to quit smoking. Dr. Serdar Turhal continued his words as follows: “The screening recommendation, which is that smoking patients should be screened by lung tomography after the age of 55, is still being performed in less than 1 percent of the general population. Therefore, this increase will provide us an opportunity in the early diagnosis of lung cancer. Again, the access of new treatments to suitable patients will enable patients to live longer. We think that the early detection of cancer and initiation of treatment will create an opportunity in the near future, thanks to the liquid biopsy, that is, the detection of the tumor at a very small size by examining the cells and genetic material belonging to the tumor in blood samples. We think that the participation of patients in ongoing studies will have an important contribution in the development of lung cancer treatment, as in other cancers.