Hope for lung cancer patients
Published: July 12, 2006 | 4454th good news item since 2003
A BREAKTHROUGH in lung cancer research could make chemotherapy more effective.
Scientists say it may be possible to reverse drug-resistance in tumours.
Most lung cancer deaths are due to tumours becoming drug-resistant – but Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered exactly how one strain of the disease, smallcell lung cancer, becomes resistant to treatment.
The research raises the hope of producing drugs to fight the resistance and make chemotherapy work better.
Lung cancer is the most common form of the disease in the world today and accounts for more deaths in the UK than any other type.
About one in five lung cancer deaths are due to small-cell lung cancers.
Most small-cell cancer patients can only be treated with chemotherapy because by the time it is diagnosed it is too late for surgery. Cancer Research professor John Toy said: “This research increases our understanding of how some lung-cancer cells survive chemotherapy.
“If this kind of resistance could be overcome, it would be a major step forward in the treatment of lung cancer.”