Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Lung Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Chemo Might Give Some Lung Cancer Patients an Edge

Traditional treatment offers small advantage for people without a specific gene mutation, study says

continued...

Traditional chemotherapy has a wide variety of side effects, including nausea, hair loss and other problems. The targeted drugs cause side effects like skin rashes (which can become infections), diarrhea and fatigue.

As for expense, both treatments -- traditional chemotherapy and the alternate "targeted" form of therapy used for the comparison -- cost about the same, Ramalingam said.

Scientists need to continue developing different treatments for non-small cell lung cancer patients based on their genetic makeup, especially those who don't have the "treatable target mutation," Ramalingam said.

Testing for the mutation is becoming more common because treatment can be individualized for patients who have it. Last year, the College of American Pathologists, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the Association for Molecular Pathology recommended that doctors use a test for the mutation to guide treatment for patients with advanced lung cancer.

1|2

Today on WebMD

lung cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
 
Using GPS to Detect Lung Cancer
VIDEO
mans hand putting out cigarette
Article
 
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
FEATURE
Lung Cancer Risks Myths and Facts
SLIDESHOW
 
cancer fighting foods
SLIDESHOW
Improving Lung Cancer Survival Targeted Therapy
VIDEO
 
Lung Cancer Surprising Differences Between Sexes
VIDEO
Pets Improve Your Health
SLIDESHOW
 
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW
Lung Cancer Surgery Options
VIDEO
 

WebMD Special Sections