Source: Cancer Resource Room
Thoracic cancers are cancers of the organs in the chest cavity.
In the chest are the lungs, heart, mediastinum (the space
between the lungs), esophagus and thymus. There are special
layers that line the space inside the chest and cover the
chest organs. These can develop cancers too. The most common
thoracic cancer is lung cancer.
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What's New in Thoracic
A new discovery on the treatment of lung cancer...
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center researchers have discovered a molecular
marker that identifies lung cancer patients whose tumors will respond to treatment
with the drug Iressa. "This discovery will help us significantly improve the treatment
of many lung cancer patients and is also an important next step in the molecular
targeting of cancer drugs," says Daniel
Haber, MD, PhD, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
Approved a year ago for deadly non-small-cell lung cancer, Iressa causes tumors
to shrink significantly in a small percentage of patients, but some of those responses
are rapid and dramatic. The drug acts by disabling the epidermal growth factor
receptor (EGFR) on the surface of lung cancer cells, halting signals that can
lead to the uncontrolled growth of a malignant tumor. To understand why the drug
worked so well for some patients but not others, the team screened samples from
patients who participated in an Iressa clinical trial to search for mutations
in the EGFR gene.
For more information, please contact: Center for Thoracic Cancers at
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