The Starfish Project

The combined effort of our whole family.

Study Indicates Alternative to Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer

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February 2008

A new hope lies on the horizon for lung cancer patients, as researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles expand their dual-drug therapy regimen to a larger group, following positive results reported February 1 in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Researcher’s at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center have found a series of significant biomarkers are reduced when a combination of a common anti-inflammatory drug is combined with a compound known to block cancer growth, and could lead to tests that would show a patient could forego the devastating impact of chemotherapy.

Fifty percent of the patients in the study showed either a reduction in tumor size of up to 30%, or no growth when combining Tarceva with Celebrex. In advanced lung cancer, “no growth” is considered a positive outcome.

Celebrex is the brand name for celecoxib, a medication manufactured by Pfizer for the treatment of arthritis, and is in the family of NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen.

The team knew that in previous studies of the growth factor receptor blocker Tarceva, that some patients responded, while others did not, and that tests of blood and urine indicated that their response to the drug seemed to be linked to the amount of cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2) being produced. COX-2 causes inflammation, and is seen in 80% to 85% of lung cancer patients who are suffering from non-small-cell lung cancer.

The team, led by Dr. Steven Dubinett, is hopeful that the second phase of the study will allow oncologists to personalize treatment, prescribing drugs they know patients will respond to and sparing them from therapies that won’t work.

“We need good predictors of response to targeted therapy in lung cancer so individual patients receive the specific therapy that targets the particular molecular abnormalities of their tumors,” said Dubinett in a press release from UCLA.

Source:  Associated Content

[Tracey’s Note:  I know this isn’t an alternative therapy, per se, Mom.  But, it did seem like very interesting information to talk to your doctor about.  I don’t know how toxic either of these substances are on the body, but they do seem to suggest it’s much more tolerable than chemotherapy (which doesn’t really work anyway) and this *did* show promise for reducing tumor size.  That’s why I included it here.]

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Written by Tracey

October 14, 2008 at 5:48 am

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