Lung cancer is less scary, increases survival - Health & Wellness

Lung cancer is less scary, increases survival – Health & Wellness

The most feared, so much so as to be called the first among the ‘big killers’, lung cancer, is now finally starting to be less scary. In fact, hope is sparked by the results of the new studies presented at the congress of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), which in these days in Paris brings together over 25,000 oncologists from all over the world: the new targeted therapies have proven to work in the long term and Patient survival is also significantly increasing for metastatic or more resistant forms.

This is demonstrated by a series of studies, welcomed with great enthusiasm by experts who, only until recently, had very few therapeutic weapons against various forms of lung cancer. Long-term survival thus becomes a reality for patients with metastatic lung cancer, one of the most difficult cancers to treat. A result obtained thanks to the combination of pembrolizumab, an immunotherapy molecule, with chemotherapy, which showed, in the first-line treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a survival benefit: studies show that a patient on 5 is in fact alive at 5 years.

The combination also reduced the risk of death by 40% and at five years it more than doubled overall survival compared to chemotherapy alone (22 months versus 10.6 months).

In patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC, however, results from a second study, KEYNOTE-407, showed a five-year overall survival rate of 18.4% with pembrolizumab plus chemo compared to 9.7% with chemotherapy alone.

“Before these pivotal studies, lung cancer had a five-year survival rate of 10%, one of the lowest of all cancers,” said Marina Garassino, professor of medicine, University of Chicago, Hematology / Oncology. results show significant improvements in the five-year survival of treated patients and confirm the important role of these regimens as a standard of care. ” And another study, the KEYNOTE-407, showed important results even for patients with squamous histology, more difficult to treat, doubling survival compared to chemotherapy alone. Important breakthroughs also for forms of lung cancer with gene mutations: survival is increasing in patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations. The ADAURA study, presented at Esmo, in fact demonstrated that adjuvant therapy, after surgery, with the osimertinib molecule resulted in a median disease-free survival of 65.8 months, about 5 and a half years, and about three out of four treated patients were alive and disease-free at four years. The Italian Medicines Agency has approved the reimbursement of the drug.

The results of the ADAURA study, said Filippo de Marinis, Director of the Thoracic Oncology Division of the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan, “are unprecedented. The advantages obtained, that is a reduction in the risk of relapse or death equal to 73 % in the global population and a median disease-free survival of about five and a half years, are truly significant and define a new standard of care, in the face of excellent tolerability “. Thanks to the approval of AIFA, he concludes, “a real paradigm shift is taking place in our country too, which sees the introduction of precision medicine in a population of patients where the intent of the treatments is the cure” . (HANDLE).

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