Tag Archives: Lung Cancer

Study Finds that Older Lung Cancer Patients May Still Benefit from Surgery

Lung Cancer
Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer in both men and women, and nearly all the patients are over the age of 45. Despite the fact that the average age of diagnosis is 70, cancer surgery is proving to be a viable treatment option that can extend the lives of these patients.

Is Surgery Appropriate for Older Patients?

The general opinion, even among healthcare professionals, is that surgery is too hard on the aging bodies of older patients to be considered as a solution for lung cancer. Treatment then focuses on controlling the symptoms rather than attempting curative solutions.

Evaluating Surgical Treatment for Lung Cancer

In October 2016 the Journal of Clinical Oncology published a study headed up by Dr. Prasad Adusumilli, a thoracic surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Participants included more than 2,000 patients diagnosed with Stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer. Approximately 70 percent of the subjects were 65 or older.

After these patients had surgery to remove the tumors, the group experienced a remarkable track record of success. The first year follow-up showed that patient deaths to that point were most often due to causes other than lung cancer. Even more encouraging news was that after five years nearly 90 percent of the patients were alive and cancer-free.

Instead of Surgery Consider Immunotherapy for Cancer

At Issels®, our personally tailored immunotherapy for cancer treatments are designed to boost your body’s natural defenses against the disease. Contact us to learn more about state-of-the-art non-surgical programs such as cancer vaccines and cell therapies prepared from your own immune cells.

Incidence of Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers Rises to 15%

Lung Cancer On The Decline
Rise in Lung Cancer in Non Smokers

Smoking tobacco has long been a known risk factor for lung cancer. Surprisingly, as smoking rates have declined, non-smokers have accounted for a higher percentage of lung cancer cases. In addition, these patients are more likely to be women.

Data comes from studies in Great Britain and the United States involving non-small cell cancer, which constitutes 85 to 90 percent of all lung cancer cases. This type is aggressive and usually detected at a later stage, particularly in non-smokers who are not screened as often due to fewer risk factors.

Over a seven-year period, British researchers discovered that the percentage of never-smokers with lung cancer more than doubled from 13 percent to 28 percent. Subjects included 2,170 patients between 2008 and 2014.

Their American counterparts had similar results in a study of lung cancer patients between 1990 and 2013. According to lead researcher Dr. Lorraine Pelosof, nine percent of non-small cell patients between 1990 and 1995 were never-smokers. In the period of 2011-2013, the percentage had grown to nearly 15 percent.

At present, researchers are stumped as to the reason for these increases, or why women are more susceptible. Ongoing studies are focusing on genetic risk and family history as possible causes in the absence of tobacco use. Dr. Pelosof also commented on the need to confirm her team’s findings, noting limitations such as the smoking history of subjects being self-reported.

Our Issels® immuno-oncology protocols take into account your lifestyle, genetic history, environment and other factors that affect your case. The result is a personalized, non-toxic course of treatment that addresses your specific needs. Visit our website to learn more.

New Research: Melanoma Drug Causes Decrease in Lung Cancer Tumors

Lung Cancer On The Decline
Fighting Lung Cancer With Skin Cancer Drugs

At our Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology centers, we treat a wide variety of cancers including lung cancer. As previously mentioned, we offer this blog to give patients, caregivers, doctors, researchers, educators and students as much information as possible about new, beneficial immunotherapy advances that we feel can help patients.

As reported in May in the New England Journal of Medicine, a recent study found that nivolumab (Opdivo), a new immune checkpoint inhibitor drug that reveals cancer cells that pretend to be healthy cells to help push the immune system to destroy the cancer, is stopping the spread of melanoma and lung cancers almost two times better than ipilimumab (Yervoy).

Side Effects

Side effects with all immunotherapy drug treatments continue to be a problem for as many as 70 to 80 percent of patients. These two drugs were no different. Both caused side effects and the effects increased when the drugs were tested in combination.

Positive Outcomes

Researchers believe the outstanding results outweigh any side effects given there were no deaths during a trial that focused on 945 patients who had advanced and untreated melanoma. Best yet:

  • Patients who received nivolumab experienced a 7-month disease slowdown and a 34 percent tumor reduction versus a 3-month ipilimumab slowdown and 6 percent tumor reduction.
  • Combining both drugs resulted in a 11.5-month slowdown and a 52-percent reduction.

We believe at Issels® that the discovery of nivolumab (Opdivo) as a lung cancer treatment option, and the discovery of the higher effectiveness of the drug when used in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy), represent incredible breakthroughs in immunotherapy and non-toxic treatment solutions. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Lung Cancer Grows in Women and May Surpass Breast Cancer

Lung Cancer On The Decline
Lung Cancer In Women

Breast cancer can rightly be considered the most significant disease facing women specifically. However, researchers have long warned that lung cancer rates could overtake breast cancer as the most fatal form of the disease in women. The Annals of Oncology have recently released a report confirming that 2015 may be the year that lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer across Europe.

Even while cancer death rates decline overall, lung cancer rates trend upward as the population ages. The statistics in Europe reflect a global truth: where smoking has been prevalent, both men and women face high rates of lung cancer.

The fact that this disease could affect more women than breast cancer serves as a reminder for necessity of awareness and prevention efforts.

There are several key issues to understand about the rise of lung cancer in women:

  • Many women began smoking after World War II. As the population ages, more women develop lung cancer. Smoking cessation can begin to reduce the rates.
  • Rates vary notably by country. Smoking has been more common in England and Poland than many other European countries. British women (21 per 100,000) and Polish women (17 per 100,000) exceed the EU average of 14 deaths per 100,000.
  • The trends represent a rise in lung cancer rates, more than a reduction in breast cancer rates.

At Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology, we study every case of cancer individually. Research into the overall trends provides another important facet of fighting cancer: if we understand why one form of the disease is becoming more common, we can better anticipate future patient needs. Contact Issels® to find out about holistic and individualized cancer therapies.

Five Things to Know About Lung Cancer

Things To Know About Lung Cancer
Things To Know About Lung Cancer

Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed and you’re struggling to learn all you can about your lung cancer diagnosis. There is a great deal of information available online, however, we would like to offer you five facts you should know about lung cancer.

Fact #1: Smoking isn’t the only cause of lung cancer

While it’s true that smoking causes around 87% of all cases, it’s not the only cause. Lung cancer occurs when the cells in the lungs mutate, and this is often caused by breathing in toxic chemicals, but it can also be due to genetics.

Fact #2: Lung cancer symptoms usually do not appear until the cancer has spread

Early cases of lung cancer generally produce no symptoms, which is why it can sometimes take years for doctors to find the cancer.

Fact #3: Researchers are working to find ways to diagnose lung cancer early on

Lung cancer is most successfully treated when it’s found early. Researchers are looking for more ways to perform early diagnostic tests. Lose dose CT scans might be one option.

Fact #4: There are many different types of lung cancer

Small cell and non-small cell are both types of lung cancer, but there are many more variables involved that will help your doctor decide which lung cancer treatment is right for you.

Fact #5: There are many effective alternative lung cancer treatments available

Chemo and radiation are no longer your only options. Alternative treatments are getting great results.

If you would like more information about Issels, we would love to talk with you and answer any questions you might have about available lung cancer treatment options. Please contact us today.

U.S. Lung Cancer Rates Start to Decline

Lung Cancer On The Decline
Lung Cancer On The Decline

Major research on lung cancer has determined some significant, positive trends: overall rates have dropped about 12 percent over the last thirty years according to Denise Riedel Lewis of the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Some types of lung cancer are stagnant or even increasing, however.

Smoking causes at least 90 percent of lung cancer cases, so declining usage of tobacco products directly accounts for decreasing rates overall. Scientists believe that smoking habits also contribute to increasing rates for certain cancer types.

Adenocarcinoma and “Light” Cigarettes

People who smoke “light” cigarettes may believe that lower nicotine levels offer a health benefit, but this new data points to rising lung cancer rates for these smokers.

Dr. Norman Edelman of the American Lung Association points out that carcinogens reach the outer areas of lungs more often when people deeply inhale low-nicotine cigarettes rather than taking shallower inhalations of standard cigarettes.

Rates are increasing for adenocarcinoma, or lung cancer that begins in the outer lungs. Women, who smoke “light” cigarettes at higher rates than men, have had notably high rates of adenocarcinoma in recent years.

Some Lung Cancer Rates Hitting a Plateau

According to Edelman, men’s lung cancer rates have been falling for years while women’s rates have held steady. Women starting to smoke later in life than men contributed to lower rates among women in the past, with rates now evening out between the sexes.

The NCI study looked at lung cancer cases from 1977 to 2010, covering significant changes in smoking rates as well as advances in lung cancer treatments.

To learn more about innovations in lung cancer treatments, contact Issels Integrative Oncology Centers.