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Alice Tsang Shaw, MD, PhD, is a thoracic oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
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Justin Perry from Wells, Maine looks like a typical 25-year-old man. At a recent appointment at the MGH Cancer Center, flanked by his supportive parents and loving fiancée, Michelle White, he doesn’t look like he is fighting a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer.
Two years ago, Yariv “Dolio” Kafri was an active, committed 47-year-old athlete. A one-time member of the Israeli national volleyball team, he had played soccer for many years, and was a surfer, triathlete, yogi and biker. He was in excellent physical condition and had never smoked a day in his life.
In a study examining the evolution of drug resistance in a lung cancer patient treated with multiple different targeted therapies, MGH physicians report that a new mutation conferring resistance to a next-generation targeted therapy actually restored the cancer’s response to the very first targeted therapy drug used to treat the patient.
Treatment with the targeted therapy drug crizotinib effectively halts the growth of lung tumors driven by rearrangements of the ROS1 gene
A new drug called ceritinib appears to be effective against advanced ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer, both in tumors that have become resistant to crizotinib and in those never treated with the older drug.
Research teams led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center investigators are publishing two important studies regarding use of the targeted cancer drug crizotinib for treatment of advanced lung cancer driven by specific genetic mutations.
The results of a new phase III trial show that crizotinib, a targeted therapy, is a more effective treatment than standard chemotherapy for patients with advanced, ALK-positive lung cancer.
MGH Cancer Center investigators have defined the role of a recently identified gene abnormality – rearrangements in the ROS1 gene – in non-small-cell lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. They also show that these tumors can be treated with crizotinib and describe the remarkable response of one patient to such treatment.
Alice Shaw, MD, thoracic oncologist at the Mass General Cancer Center, says patients with lung cancer can benefit from genetic testing, particularly if they are young non-smokers. Learn more about personalized treatment for lung cancer and new "smart drugs" that target a tumor's specific genetic mutation to slow the cancer's growth, and in some cases, reduce it significantly.
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