Stage four lung cancer means that your cancer has spread to other organs that may include your brain, liver and/or bones. The goal of therapy is to treat the entire body in order to destroy every last remnant of the cancer. In the past, chemotherapy–which kills all fast-growing cells in the body–was considered the treatment standard for stage four lung cancer, but times have changed.
Precision medicine or matching the treatment to your tumor’s individual biology and characteristics is the way forward. For example, if your cancer is over-expressing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)–a protein that makes cells grow and divide–drugs blocking EGFR may be used. Targeted therapy seeks out very specific cancer cells and leaves the healthy cells alone. Chemotherapy tends to cause a lot of collateral damage because it kills all fast-growing cells–both healthy and cancerous.
Today, many researchers are looking at combining chemotherapy with some of the newer precision lung cancer drugs for even better tumor control.
Late stage lung cancer means that the disease has spread to other organs. The goal in these cases is to treat the whole body, destroying all the cancer cells. There are several options for how to approach treating stage four lung cancers.
Employing the immune system is now a viable treatment option for many more people with advanced-stage lung cancer.
The Outlook for Immunotherapy Treatment
Immunotherapy Has Changed The Game For Lung Cancer
A Much More Effective Alternative to Chemotherapy
Is Immunotherapy Right for My Lung Cancer?
What Do Checkpoint Inhibitors Do For Cancer?
The Importance Of Genetics In Late Stage Lung Cancers
Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer
Getting Genetic Sequencing
How Checkpoint Inhibitors Work in Lung Cancer
How to Determine If Targeted Therapy Is Right for You
Combining Immunotherapy Drugs in Lung Cancer Clinical Trials
Immunotherapy for Advanced Lung Cancer
Why I'd Choose a Clinical Trial For Myself
Clinical Trials and What Statistics Really Mean
When Should I Consider Clinical Trials?
The Father of Immunotherapy Recommends Multiple Opinions