Drug combo attacks lung cancer - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Drug combo attacks lung cancer

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(05/14/13) - A new drug combination is helping fight the leading cancer killer. Lung cancer claims more lives than any other cancer. But, something as simple as adding a drug to chemotherapy may help improve the survival odds for more men and women.

"It keeps my mind at peace 'cause I know that I'm not alone," says Kimberly Thomas of her "we got this" bracelet, a symbol of all the support she's received since her diagnosis.  

"I was devastated," Kimberly said as she recalled the day she learned she had small cell carcinoma.

It is a very aggressive form of lung cancer, but something new could help her overcome it. University of Tennessee Medical Center's Dr. Wahid Hanna is helping investigate how adding immune-boosting anti-bodies to chemotherapy drugs could help patients like Kim.  

"If you have a cell that is requiring oxygen and you interfere with the nutrition, you interfere with the way it gets the cells to grow, that's it, it'll die," Hanna explains.

The antibody attaches itself to cancer cells, making the cancer vulnerable to being destroyed by a patient's own immune system. After six rounds of the chemotherapy combined with the anti-body, the tumor in Kimberly's lung has shrunk by more than half.   

"It makes me feel ecstatic that there's hope," she says.

After patients complete the combination treatment, they can choose to continue taking the antibody without the chemotherapy. Patients around the world are being recruited to take part in the phase two study. For more information, visit:  http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT01237678?term=small+cell+lung+ca&recr=Open&rank=6&show_locs=Y#locn

For more information about lung cancer, visit:  http://www.cancer.org/cancer/lungcancer-smallcell/overviewguide/lung-cancer-small-cell-overview-key-statistics

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