New Hope for Lung Cancer Victims
There is a treatment that can help in slowing the advancement of lung cancer, which at present is in the experimental stage. It works by preventing cancer cells from obtaining the proteins that feed them.
All we need to do is hear the word lung cancer and we become stressed because we know of cases of this type of cancer. We have friends, acquaintances, and close family members who currently live with this illness or have suffered without overcoming it.
It is topic that is as complicated as it is dramatic. According the the World Health Organization (WHO) it is one of the leading causes of death.
Up until a few years ago, it was most common among men. However, lately the number of women diagnosed with lung cancer has risen.
In spite of the fact that tobacco is almost always behind the cause of this cancer, it is important to remember that a small percentage of the population with a healthy lifestyle also ends up with this painful illness.
The purpose of science to deal with this reality is clear and convincing. We need to find a medicine to stop the advance of this cancer.
Without a doubt, a major investment is needed. It must be said as well, that we need to be aware that tobacco causes serious consequences sooner or later.
One publication, ScienceDaily, has shared this hopeful news. A “weak spot” has been discovered in the genetic structure that propagates the most aggressive lung cancer.
Here we share all of the data.
Lung cancer and its “weak spot”
Work has been carried out by the Health Department of the University of Virginia and the prospects, as we speak, are very positive.
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When new discoveries are made pertaining to medicines, as always we will have to wait for their availability. This is because we are dealing with a new treatment for the most aggressive form of lung cancer.
In the following we will give details of each milestone in this quest.
Non-small cell lung cancer
This variety of cancerous tumor represents approximately 15% of all lung cancers. There is a new treatment to combat the most aggressive variety of this type of cancer.
- This type of cancer spreads rapidly and once metastasis begins, it’s very complicated to treat.
- Oncologists indicate that, on average, patients afflicted with this variety of cancer have a survival rate of 5 years.
- This cancer is seen almost exclusively in people who have been habitual smokers.
The director of this work is scientist Dr. Kwon Park of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology at the University of Virginia, at Charlottesville.
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His purpose and that of his team was to control the advance of lung cancer. Previously, they took part in an investigation about mutations of a cancer gene (oncogene) at the moment when metastasis is triggered.
Something they found to be certain is the great difficulty in designing a drug which can control this type of gene which unleashes the disease.
What if in lieu of controlling the genes, we look for a “weak spot ” in them? This is what Dr. Park and his team were able to do.
- This type of lung cancer, the most aggressive, has in its structure a weak point. The key is in the proteins.
These oncogenes work very fast.
An oncogene is a gene that has modified itself in order to unleash a tumor. They have observed in the laboratory that this enemy works rapidly and causes many deaths a year.
It needs a lot of proteins to function, regulates itself, and joins the proteins together. This allows each cell to divide extremely quickly and in this way it generates metastasis.
In this way these proteins work as a catalyst in order to produce tumors. What if these proteins are not so readily accessible?
That is where the answer lies. Dr. Park and his team are working on that now.
They are searching for a way to stop the activity of that protein that intensifies the power of this cancer. For the time being, there are many good results in the laboratory.
Outlook for the future
We introduced the beginning of this work. This type of news offers us hope, but at the same time, we need to have patience since the drug is still in the experimental stages.
Dr. Park and his group have created a medicine that inhibits the growth of this type of tumor. There is a project underway in the United States to begin treatments with this new medicine.
At the same time, laboratories in Canada and Australia have created other varieties of this drug. The idea is to find out how each one of these progresses and to see what the results tell us.
We just hope that in a short time, if the results are positive, this treatment will be available throughout the world. We need to keep in mind that sooner or later we will be successful.