News, Your Health Seth Stratton | 8 years ago

Advanced stage Lung Cancer Patient Back on Her Feet

A regular runner, Edwina Edgeworth could barely walk. Two years of battling lung cancer had taken its toll on her. The cancer had spread and the medicine that had helped keep the cancer at bay, had stopped working. Doctors gave her months to live.

A year later Edwina’s cancer is shrinking and she’s literally back on her feet.

Edwina was enrolled in a study that analyzed the genetics of her tumor and then took aim at a specific mutation. That study was featured today in the New England Journal of Medicine for its prominent role in research advancing the treatment of advanced-stage lung cancer. Daniel Haggstrom, MD, an oncologist at Levine Cancer Institute and one of the primary authors of the study, demonstrated the efficacy of a molecular-targeted therapy in patients with advanced-stage lung cancer.

The drug, AZD9291, successfully targets a specific mutation common in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after chemotherapy and radiation therapy cease to be effective treatments for stopping or reducing cell growth. Targeted cancer therapies are drugs or other substances that interfere with specific molecules involved in cancer growth and survival. NSCLC is one of the most common and deadly forms of cancer in the United States. AZD9291 received ‘breakthrough’ status from the FDA for increasing survivorship in this specific subset of patients.