by Sonja Klein
A potential new additional treatment for patients with advanced lung cancer
has been found in a collaboration study in Europe.
Patients diagnosed with stage III or stage IV lung cancer who have little hope of survival may have renewed hope with a new treatment that is currently being tested at various clinics throughout Europe. Non-small-cell lung cancer, a common type that often does not respond well to chemotherapy, has been treated with a combination of chemotherapy and a virus strain called TG4010. Patients that have not yet received chemotherapy, but were treated with the TG4010, on average had a higher survival rate than patients treated with standard chemotherapy.
However, treatment was not effective for all patients. Patients expressing a high percentage of a specific type of receptor on their “natural killer cells”, a sub-type of white blood cells, generally had a reduced survival rate. This knowledge can potentially be used as a biomarker which is an indicator substance in the human body that can be used to find out if a patient will respond positively to a treatment or not. At the current stage of cancer research many patients have to be treated with different types of chemotherapy until the right treatment is found. Testing patients for this specific type of receptor on the “natural killer cells” can reduce the number of tests people have to go through before they find the right treatment. This not only increases their chances of survival but also improves their quality of life.