Oncology & Cancer

Why lung cancer doesn't respond well to immunotherapy

Immunotherapy—drug treatment that stimulates the immune system to attack tumors—works well against some types of cancer, but it has shown mixed success against lung cancer.

Health

Radon: The odorless, invisible threat

Radon is an odorless, invisible radioactive gas. It's naturally released from rocks, soil and water—and it can get trapped inside your home, office or school. There's no known safe level of radon.

Medical research

Scientists discover key 'culprits' in major lung cancer study

Lung cancer is the biggest cause of cancer death in the U.K., but a study by a team of scientists from the University of Southampton has discovered a new way to identify patients who are twice as likely to die from the disease.

Oncology & Cancer

Experts call for better cancer tests to tailor treatment

Greater use of cancer tests is the key to tailoring use of new treatments for patients more precisely and so increasing their chances of being recommended for use within the NHS, experts say.

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Lung cancer

Lung cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth may lead to metastasis, which is the invasion of adjacent tissue and infiltration beyond the lungs. The vast majority of primary lung cancers are carcinomas of the lung, derived from epithelial cells. Lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and the second most common in women (after breast cancer), is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide annually. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing (including coughing up blood), and weight loss.

The main types of lung cancer are small cell lung carcinoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma. This distinction is important, because the treatment varies; non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is sometimes treated with surgery, while small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) usually responds better to chemotherapy and radiation. The most common cause of lung cancer is long-term exposure to tobacco smoke. The occurrence of lung cancer in nonsmokers, who account for as many as 15% of cases , is often attributed to a combination of genetic factors, radon gas, asbestos, and air pollution, including secondhand smoke.

Lung cancer may be seen on chest radiograph and computed tomography (CT scan). The diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy. This is usually performed via bronchoscopy or CT-guided biopsy. Treatment and prognosis depend upon the histological type of cancer, the stage (degree of spread), and the patient's performance status. Possible treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. With treatment, the five-year survival rate is 14%.

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