Lung Cancer

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Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer

Dr. Ronald Natale Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Erlotinib (Tarceva) and gefitinib (Iressa) are among the first targeted drugs approved to treat lung cancer. These and other similar drugs given as pills target epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a protein that, when overreactive, makes cancer cells grow and divide. These mutations are more common in people with lung cancer who are female or who have never smoked.

These drugs have had success in prolonging the time that the cancer does not worsen, both alone and in combination with chemotherapy and immunotherapy. If the cancer does develop resistance to the drug, alternative treatments are then considered.

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Dr. Ronald Natale is Director of the Lung Cancer Clinical Research Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Read More