To treat lung cancer, different strategies are used, often in combination.
She is reserved for the early stagesdisease, when the cancer is still localized in the lung. The operation involves removing the tumor and surrounding tissue. Nearby lymph nodes are also removed. Their analysis will make it possible to verify whether the cancer cells have started to spread.
It concerns lung cancers that have started to spread. The molecules used, most often platinum salts, destroy cancer cells, but also healthy cells which explains the many side effects. In general, the treatment is administered intravenously (some molecules can be administered orally) in several cycles spread over several weeks. The effectiveness of “chemo” remains limited in time. More and more, it is supplemented by targeted therapies or immunotherapy, treatments more specifically adapted to the profile of the tumor.
It consists of irradiate cancer cells in order to destroy them. Modern technologies make it possible to target shots better, in order to preserve as much as possible the healthy tissue of the lung and the organs located nearby, such as the esophagus.
They concern approximately 20% of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. They are mainly light smokers or non-smokers. In these people, the tumor has certain genetic abnormalities (EGFR, ALK or ROS1 mutation). “These alterations act a bit like a switch that triggers the development of the tumor. These targeted therapies kind of turn that switch off. And it works in 90% of cases ”, explains Prof. Nicolas Girard, pulmonologist oncologist at Institut Curie (Paris) and responsible for the Curie-Montsouris thorax institute. Treatment is administered in tablets. The different molecules available can be prescribed successively in the event of a relapse. Targeted therapies come complete chemotherapy.
This treatment, administered as an intravenous infusion every two to three weeks, stimulates the patient’s immune system to fight cancer cells themselves. Immunotherapy is much less toxic than “chemo”. According to Prof. Girard, “It has a prolonged effectiveness over time and halves the risk of relapse “. For the time being, this treatment is reserved for certain patients at the metastatic or advanced stage. It may or may not be combined with conventional chemotherapy.