Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mighty puzzling lung cancer!

In the United states along, over 225,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancers
and 160,000 people diagnosed with this disease, will die from it.  And it is known that 84 percent of people diagnosed of this disease, will die from it.  Indeed, patients diagnosed with stage IA, the earliest stage, have a 5 year survival of only 50% despite our current advances in therapy. Making lung cancer one of the deadliest cancer of all cancers.

Comparative data on survival Breast Vs lung cancer
FROM NCI SEER'S DATA BASE                                                             IN 3RD EDITION OF ASCO-SEP PG 157

STAGE 0              100%                                                                                         STAGE IA      50%
STAGE I         100%                                                                STAGE IB  47%
STGAE II         93%                                                                STAGE IIA  36%
STAGE III        72%                                                                 STAGE IIB  26%
STAGE IV        22%                                                                 STAGE IIIA  19%
                                                                                                  STAGE IIIB  7%
                                                                                                   STAGE IV   2%


These figures point to not only which cancer is deadliest, but also how critical it is to detect the disease early in an effort to improve survival.  As most patients with lung cancers present with advanced disease and chances of survival  is relative to stage of disease, It has been a constant effort of researchers to diagnosed lung cancer early.
To date, lung cancer prevention has been attempted by chest X-ray, sputum cytology, and finally the Lung Cancer Action project (ELCAP) and the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) have tested successfully low dose Cat Scan (CT) in patients 55 to 74, with 30 year pack or more history, to not only detect lung cancer earlier but also to show survival benefit.

Today, attempts to screen and detect lung cancer has expanded to cellular detection of minimal presence of lung cancer cells in the blood.   These efforts are preliminary, and it is unclear at what stage this phenomena could be detected.

The CRBCM with support from the University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP) Biologic  cancer research Department has launched an investigation of to detect early variation in genes that could signal lung cancer development in high risk patients as defined above.

These efforts have been supported by MDHONORS, an London institution, which provided limited funding (the CRBCM has committed its own funding so far) but also by the University of Virginia Tissue Bank  (LCBRN) which provided initial tissue (tissue and sera) specimen.   

The CRBCM insists on thanking these non biased, non political organizations who truly help the progress of science without greed or political gain.  Thank you!

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