Lung cancer is a major health problem worldwide. In fact, it’s the number one cause of cancer-related deaths. One type of lung cancer, called small cell lung cancer (SCLC), is especially deadly.
Associate Professor Dan Gough tells us that SCLC has a shocking mortality rate of about 95%. He explains, “We desperately need new drugs to improve survival rates for these patients.”
The Problem of Chemoresistance
Usually, SCLC patients respond well initially to platinum-based chemotherapy, a common first-line treatment.
However, the disease almost always returns, and when it does, it’s often resistant to the drugs that worked before.
This condition is known as chemoresistance. When this happens, there aren’t many treatment options left, leaving patients in a tough spot.
A New Discovery to Fight Chemoresistance
Now, there’s a glimmer of hope. Gough and his team have found a potential solution to the problem of chemoresistance in SCLC.
“We have found a new drug that is highly effective against relapsed lung cancer. This could greatly improve lung cancer survival rates,” he says.
In their study, published in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, the researchers tested several drugs to identify potential new treatments.
One drug, called Fimepinostat, stood out for its effectiveness against relapsed lung cancer. In fact, this drug was shown to double lung cancer survival time.
Future Prospects for Fimepinostat
The exciting thing about Fimepinostat is that it has already been used in clinical trials for other types of cancer. This means it can be readily tested in trials for SCLC.
Talks have already begun with the manufacturer of Fimepinostat to design clinical trials for its use in SCLC.
This discovery brings hope to patients with SCLC. It could potentially offer a much-needed new treatment option, reducing chemoresistance and increasing survival rates for this lethal form of lung cancer.
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The study was published in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research.
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