“The number of therapies approved to treat lung cancer has dramatically increased in recent years,” said Alexander I. Spira, MD, PhD, FACP, Co-Director, Virginia Cancer Specialists Research Institute and Director, Thoracic and Phase I Program at Virginia Cancer Specialists. “Our practice is proud to continue to offer new options as the research evolves.”
Immunotherapy drugs leverage your existing immune system to fight your lung cancer. These treatments can either boost your immune system or change the way your immune system works to target lung cancer cells.
Cancer cells can hide from your immune system, causing your natural defense system to remain inactive. Well-known immunotherapy drugs include KEYTRUDA® and OPDIVO®, both of which work by activating your immune system so it can recognize and identify cancer cells that are hiding. In recent years, these drugs have been approved to treat several types of lung cancer; your physician can help you determine whether immunotherapy treatments are right for you.
Targeted therapies, sometimes called precision medicine, use drugs to precisely target certain types of cancer cells while avoiding healthy, normal cells. Targeted therapy can be used by itself, or in combination with other treatments like traditional chemotherapy. These therapies work by differentiating between cancer cells and normal cells to block unhealthy cells from dividing and creating new cells. Targeted therapy treatments may also produce fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy.
Lung cancer research is constantly evolving. Clinical trials can provide patients with the opportunity for a better outcome and quality of life while playing a vital role in the development of treatments for lung cancer. Virginia Cancer Specialists participates in clinical trials through The Virginia Cancer Specialists Research Institute and its partner NEXT Oncology, as well as The US Oncology Research, which has played a role in more than 100 FDA-approved cancer therapies.
“These are clinical studies that are typically available in major hospital systems in large cities, but Virginia Cancer Specialists is able to offer it right here in Northern Virginia,” said Alexander I. Spira, MD, PhD, FACP. “These are leading-edge treatments that we’re able to offer close to home, where the patient can have the support of their family and friends.”
The lung cancer specialists at Virginia Cancer Specialists work with you to create the optimal treatment plan for your lung cancer. For more information about these new advancements in lung cancer treatments, please call