Researchers fighting lung cancer now have more weapons in their arsenal to do so.
American researchers have formulated a genetic test that could possibly predict whether patients with early stage lung cancer will need post-operative chemotherapy to survive or surgery alone will be adequate. Dr Anil Potti, lead author of the study and assistant professor at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences, said that in this preliminary study, the researchers were investigating a group of genes in a way similar to fingerprinting. Based on that fingerprint, they will be able to identify the patients most likely to have a recurrence of lung cancer. The test is a major advancement in personalized medicine, where treatments are tailored to each patient’s genetic code.
Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have devised an innovative method to exchange gas through the abdominal cavity. The technique involves recirculating a gas-carrying liquid through the abdomen to deliver oxygen. When the test was tried out on adult pigs ventilated with low concentrations of oxygen to simulate lung failure, it was found that arterial oxygen saturation increased from 73 per cent to 89 per cent. Joseph Friedberg, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery and principal investigator of this study, believes that if this technique could be transferred to a critical care setting, it could help those reversible lung failure patients who need more time and support to heal than what a ventilator can provide.
Besides, Roche Holding AG has filed an application with the European Medicines Agency for using its cancer drug Avastin in addition to platinum-based chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer in patients with a certain cell type. Also, the US Food and Drug Administration has granted fast track status to Novelos Therapeutics’ possible lung cancer drug.
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