Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States. In 2018, an estimated 222,000 new cases of lung cancer and 142,000 deaths from the disease will occur in the U.S. Additionally, it is among the most costly forms of cancer, as it is also among the most expensive types of cancer to manage. Fortunately, advances in lung cancer treatment in the past few decades have made it one of the most accessible and affordable forms of cancer care. However, this has resulted in a significant amount of demand for effective treatments that yield the best possible outcomes while remaining affordable. If you are interested in learning more about the different types of lung cancer and the various treatments available, continue reading the details below.
Clinical Trials for Lung Cancer
A clinical trial is the gold standard for evaluating new treatments for disease. Clinical trials involve testing the safety and effectiveness of a new treatment for a particular disease in a large, prospective sample of patients. This allows researchers to determine the true effect of any new treatment, which can help identify the ones that are most effective for specific patients. Double-blinded, randomized studies are the most reliable method for evaluating a treatment’s true benefit because neither the participants nor the researchers know who is getting the treatment and who is not. Unfortunately, clinical trials are not common for most types of cancer due to their costs and the fact that they are not often proven to be effective.
Drug companies are under pressure to demonstrate their drugs’ effectiveness, which can require substantial research and trials. However, clinical trials for lung cancer are becoming more common, as new treatments and improved diagnostic techniques have led to the development of new, effective therapies for the disease. You can search for clinical trial opportunities by running a search on clinicaltrials.gov or by contacting a cancer doctor. You may also have success finding a clinical trial through your health insurance provider.
Drugs That Kill Tumor Cells
Cancer cells are able to sustain themselves by growing rapidly and acquiring new properties, such as the ability to migrate to other parts of the body, distant organs, or parts of the brain. To combat cancer, it is therefore important to identify drugs that target cancer cells rather than healthy cells. Chemotherapy drugs are used to kill rapidly dividing cells, including cancer cells, by disrupting their DNA through the use of DNA-damaging chemicals. These drugs often come in combination with other drugs that are used to reduce side effects, increase the effectiveness of the treatment, or to help patients successfully complete treatment. Chemotherapy drugs can have serious side effects, including damage to healthy cells as well as death of the patient due to an excessive dosage or other complications. In addition, these drugs can come with a high cost, as they are typically only available through a prescription.
Drugs That Target Cancer Metastases
Cancer metastasis is the process by which cancer cells break away from the original organ, travel through nearby tissue and organs, and form a new tumor. This can occur when cancer cells travel through the blood or lymphatic vessels and enter another organ. Drugs that target cancer metastases are used to block the growth and development of cancer metastases by targeting the specific molecules responsible for the growth of cancer cells. These types of drugs, however, are not as effective at attacking tumor cells that originate within the organ. Newer, targeted therapies include drugs like pemetinib that target cancer cells as they break away from the organ and travel through the blood or lymphatic vessels.
Immunotherapy drugs target specific immune response to cancer by stimulating the body’s own immune system to seek out and destroy cancer cells. These drugs seek to activate an immune response against the cancer cells that are not suppressed by the body, which can lead to a more effective treatment. Immunotherapy does not treat the underlying cause of cancer, meaning it is only effective for cancers that have a strong enough signal from the immune system to be targeted. The most common types of immunotherapy include checkpoint inhibition and tumor-targeted therapy.
Proteasome inhibitors are commonly used to treat lung cancer, as they are effective at suppressing the growth of tumor cells that overexpress the protein. These drugs are used to kill tumor cells by inhibiting the cellular process known as proteolysis, which is responsible for breaking down proteins. Inhibiting this process often leads to toxic, inflammatory responses within the body, which is one of the reasons why proteasome inhibitors are also used in conjunction with chemotherapy drugs. Proteasome inhibitors don’t come cheap, as they are typically only prescribed through a prescription due to the expense of their administration and the potential for side effects.
Osimertinib is a proteasome inhibitor that is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy drugs to target and kill cancer cells. It works by targeting the same protein as proteasome inhibitors, inhibiting the breakdown of proteins into amino acids. It can be used to treat several types of cancers, but has particularly high success rates for lung cancer. Osimertinib is expensive, as it is only available through a prescription.
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Lung cancer is a serious disease that requires aggressive treatment. The most effective treatments for lung cancer are those that target cancer cells and block cancer growth, such as chemotherapy drugs and proteasome inhibitors. Additionally, immunotherapy is one of the most recent advances in lung cancer care and has been shown to be particularly effective against lung cancer. However, treatments like these can be costly and can also require a long-term commitment, which can be difficult for some patients. That’s why it is important to be proactive in finding the best treatments for your specific situation. This article has provided a comprehensive overview of the most promising treatments for lung cancer, including chemotherapy drugs, proteasome inhibitors, and immunotherapy.