Dr. Ullas Batra, (MBBS, MD – Medicine, DM – Medical Oncology, ECMO, FAGE) enligtens about Matching the drug to the patient
The ever-expanding advancements in molecular medicine and biology have led to a better understanding of the disease onset, behavior, and process, aiding in optimal therapy and risk stratification. The poster child for this is lung cancer, which so long considered fatal, has shown remarkable improvements in survival outcomes in this era. Targets like EGFR, ALK, and ROS1 have seen the development of newer-generation drugs.
In contrast, more unique targets like MET, HER2, and even the ubiquitous KRAS have now been incorporated in international recommendations with small molecule inhibitors available. More and more oncologists are now prescribing genomic profiling, and the establishment of laboratories catering to these needs has led to this genomic revolution. Ongoing randomized control trials make it more feasible for increased uptake of panel-based genomic profiling and subsequent matched therapy for patients who otherwise may not be available owing to economic restraints, especially in a low-middle income country like India.
The other new kid on the block is immunotherapy which has paved its way to the front line and is showing promise in tumors that are not amenable to targeted treatment.
Therefore, once considered untreatable and lethal, with conventional chemoradiation being the only therapy choice, lung cancer is currently witnessing a therapeutic and prognostic paradigm with a ray of hope for a complete cure in years to come.
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