Scientists in the USA have found that the benefits of targeted lung cancer treatments could be similar among smokers and non-smokers.
Certain types of lung cancers are driven by a change in a person’s genetic make-up, and can therefore be treated with therapies that target these genetic changes.
The research, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, aimed to find out whether a person’s smoking status would have an impact on the effectiveness of these targeted treatments.
The study involved 904 people with lung cancer who tested positive for a genetic factor that could be treated with a targeted therapy. It then looked at the effect of these therapies, alongside smoking status, on survival rates.
The researchers found that people receiving these targeted therapies lived an average of 1.5 years longer than people who did not – regardless of whether they smoked, used to smoke or had never smoked.
It is worth noting that cancers in smokers are less likely to be the type that can be currently treated with these targeted therapies.
Based on their findings, the researchers recommend that all people with lung cancer are tested to see if they could benefit from targeted therapies.
Read the abstract of the journal article.
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