Health Care Science and Innovation

How targeted therapies make a difference for cancer patients

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Not long ago all lung cancer patients were lumped in the same group and typically received similar treatments.

Today, doctors at AdventHealth and across the country know one lung cancer patient can be significantly different than another. And that means they also need different treatments in order to control tumor growth.

As Dr. Mark Socinski, medical director of AdventHealth's Cancer Institute, recently told a reporter, “Twenty years ago, lung cancer was a one-size-fits-all, now it’s a very heterogeneous population of patients based on various DNA alterations.”

One such mutation found in tumor tissue is known as the MET exon 14 skipping mutation, which can cause more aggressive tumor growth.

Two targeted therapies are now FDA approved for that mutation, which is why physicians often recommend genetic testing of tumor tissue in not only lung cancer patients, but for other cancers as well.

The therapies allow doctors to more precisely target the disease, sometimes in a way that is more effective than chemotherapy and immunotherapy, Socinski said.

To watch more of the video with Socinski click here.

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