Nav: Home

Lung cancer therapy may improve outcomes of metastatic brain cancer

March 25, 2020

A medication commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, or metastasized, may have benefits for patients with metastatic brain cancers, suggests a new review and analysis led by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital of Unity Health Toronto and Harvard Medical School.

Published today in JAMA Network Open, the research hones in on osimertinib, a treatment recently approved in North America as a therapy for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with a specific mutation.

In a meta-analysis of 15 studies with 324 patients, researchers found that 64 per cent of patients with metastatic brain cancer whose cancer had spread from their lungs and were part of clinical trials with this therapy experienced a measurable response, and 90 per cent experienced disease control in the central nervous system. Up to 40 per cent of patients, however, reported severe side effects from the treatment.

"The development of brain metastases is an often feared complication of cancer," said Anders Erickson, a graduate student at St. Michael's Hospital in Dr. Sunit Das' lab, who led this research.

"Cancers that spread to the brain have historically required radical treatment with surgery or radiation. Chemotherapies that are capable of killing cancer cells in the rest of the body are unable to penetrate the blood-brain barrier."

There is a lack of evidence to support the use of targeted therapy - or small molecules that target the specific drivers of a cancer - in metastatic brain disease. The researchers set out to fill this gap by further analyzing whether this targeted treatment, known for its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, might be beneficial to patients whose lung cancer had spread to the brain.

"Though more research is needed, our study supports the potential role this therapy could play for patients," said Dr. Das, a scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science and a neurosurgeon at St. Michael's.

"It suggests we may one day be able to treat these patients without the concerns associated with surgery and radiation."

The scientists aim to investigate this topic on a broader scale, looking at larger data sets to survey the impact of different targeted therapies for metastatic brain cancer.

"We hope our work will contribute to knowledge that will inform future treatment and move the needle for patients with metastatic brain cancer in the era of precision medicine," Erickson said.
-end-


St. Michael's Hospital

Related Lung Cancer Articles:

Lung cancer therapy may improve outcomes of metastatic brain cancer
A medication commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, or metastasized, may have benefits for patients with metastatic brain cancers, suggests a new review and analysis led by researchers at St.
Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Lung transplant patients face elevated lung cancer risk
In an American Journal of Transplantation study, lung cancer risk was increased after lung transplantation, especially in the native (non-transplanted) lung of single lung transplant recipients.
Proposed cancer treatment may boost lung cancer stem cells, study warns
Epigenetic therapies -- targeting enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell -- are of growing interest in the cancer field as a way of making a cancer less aggressive or less malignant.
Are you at risk for lung cancer?
This question isn't only for people who've smoked a lot.
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
Lung cancer is the third most common type of cancer in Germany and the disease affects both men and women.
New liquid biopsy-based cancer model reveals data on deadly lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for 14 percent of all lung cancers and is often rapidly resistant to chemotherapy resulting in poor clinical outcomes.
Cancer drug leads to 'drastic decrease' in HIV infection in lung cancer patient
Doctors in France have found the first evidence that a cancer drug may be able to eradicate HIV-infected cells in humans.
Air pollution is associated with cancer mortality beyond lung cancer
A large scale epidemiological study associates some air pollutants with kidney, bladder and colorectal cancer death.
More Lung Cancer News and Lung Cancer Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Nina
Producer Tracie Hunte stumbled into a duet between Nina Simone and the sounds of protest outside her apartment. Then she discovered a performance by Nina on April 7, 1968 - three days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tracie talks about what Nina's music, born during another time when our country was facing questions that seemed to have no answer, meant then and why it still resonates today.  Listen to Nina's brother, Samuel Waymon, talk about that April 7th concert here.