What are three promising areas of lung cancer research? In the “Emerging Therapies| Hope for the Future of Lung Cancer Care” program, expert Dr. Jyoti Patel from Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University shares updates about emerging research and insights about the future of lung cancer care.
1. Identification of Oncogenes
Identification of oncogenes is an active area of lung cancer research efforts. HER2 mutations and EGFR Exon 20 mutations are a couple examples of oncogenes that are targeted in research to develop more effective treatments against them. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutation that adds the exon 20 mutation is rare, but when the mutation occurs it’s more likely to occur in those with a non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) type of adenocarcinoma, in women, in those of Asian descent, and young adults with NSCLC.
2. Mitigate Resistance in Targeted Therapies
Drug resistance is also under study to mitigate issues for those who receive targeted therapies. Unfortunately, those who are treated with targeted therapies eventually develop resistance, so this is why this is another focus of current research efforts. There are three generations of EGFR treatments, and now fourth-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatments are being researched to provide an additional line of treatments.
3. Understanding Tumor Microenvironment
The tumor microenvironment is under study to understand more about the different types of responses to immunotherapies. Though some patients have positive and vigorous responses to immunotherapies, other patients exhibit immunity to the impact of immunotherapies. Researchers are looking at the tumor microenvironment for potential ways to co-stimulate vigorous and durable immunotherapy responses for improved lung cancer care.
Lung cancer research is currently investigating many areas of research, and recent lung cancer treatment advances have increased patient survival rates and quality of life. Researchers are also investigating many areas for further screening and treatment advances, including potential blood tests for early detection. If you want to learn more about lung cancer care and treatments, check out our lung cancer information.