Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, serving as a time to raise awareness about this disease. Every 3.3 minutes someone in the United States dies of lung cancer; minute by minute adding up to 433 lung cancer deaths each day. This makes lung cancer the leading cause of cancer death in this country. Yet this…

Promising Outcome in Lung Cancer

For those with certain types of lung cancer, the oral medication Tagrisso® (osimertinib) shows promise. Tagrisso is a third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug developed by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. This medication has been approved for non–small-cell lung cancer, specifically for cancers that have an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation called T790M. Lung…

An Inside Job

Immunotherapy as a cancer treatment, which is sometimes called biologic therapy, relies on the body’s immune defenses to stop cancer cell growth and spread, as well as uses elements of the immune system to destroy cancerous cells. Last year, as I explained in the blog, Lung Cancer: Immunotherapy Treatment Option, immunotherapy presents the possibility of…

Understanding Immuno-Oncology

The field of immuno-oncology combines an understanding of how the body’s own defenses (e.g., the immune system) can be harnessed in the fight against cancer. Cancer cells, although different than the body’s healthy cells, find ways to disguise themselves so that the immune system doesn’t recognize them as non-self and target them for destruction. Immuno-oncology…

Lung Cancer: Immunotherapy Treatment Option

Thanks to anti-smoking campaigns and plummeting smoking rates over the past 20 years, the number of people diagnosed with lung cancer has declined significantly in that same time period. Even so, lung cancer stubbornly remains the second most common cancer in both men and women and accounts for nearly one in every eight new cancers,…

Medication Outperforms Chemo for Some Lung Cancers

Lung cancer remains the top cancer killer in the United States for both men and women. There are different forms of lung cancer, but the most common form is non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC accounts for approximately 85 percent of lung cancer cases, according to the American Cancer Society. For a long time, chemotherapy has…

Leukemia Drug Could Also Help Skin, Breast, and Other Cancers

Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy A well-known medication used for a specific type of leukemia now shows promise against several other cancers. This chemotherapy tablet, Sprycel® (dasatinib) from Bristol-Myers Squibb, gained FDA approval for treating chronic myelogenous leukemia in 2010, although it had been approved since 2006 in…

On the Road to Lung Cancer

While smoking is the so-called smoking gun underlying many cases of lung cancer, it’s not the only risk factor for lung cancer. Several lung diseases can also up a person’s risk for lung cancer. New research from a French group called the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that chronic bronchitis and emphysema both…

Turning the Body into a Cancer-Fighting Machine

Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy The body’s immune system possesses all the tools it needs to kill cancer cells, so why does cancer sneak past our defenses so many times? Cancer cells – in an elaborate game of cat and mouse – employ numerous techniques to cloak themselves…

Better Cancer Screening Tests

Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy Screening tests are well-known and regularly used for several cancers, including breast cancer and cervical cancer; however, there are many other cancer sites that lack an effective early detection tool. That could soon be changing for lung cancer and prostate cancer. Lung cancer…