Health Headlines: New at-home therapy for lung cancer patients
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - More than 200 thousand people a year are diagnosed with lung cancer. Now, doctors are not only battling the disease at the hospital now, but taking the fight right into the patient’s own home.
Lung cancer — it can literally take your breath away. Despite chemo, radiation, and immunotherapy, it is still one of the hardest cancers to treat.
Emory University oncologist Ticiana Leal is leading the lunar trial - a phase three clinical trial for stage four non-small cell lung cancer patients. It uses an at-home wearable device to zap cancer cells. It’s called tumor treating fields therapy.
Tumor treating fields therapy is already being used for glioblastomas and mesothelioma. For lung cancer, it uses low-intensity electrical fields delivered through this wearable device.
The arrays transmit mild electric fields, disrupting cell division and preventing the growth of cancer cells. The arrays are worn for 18 hours a day.
Researchers found that combining the fields therapy with chemo or immunotherapy resulted in an eight-month improvement in overall survival.
Next to a cure, this treatment gives patients what they want most — more time.
The most common side effect seems to be dermatitis, or a rash. The treatment has not yet been approved by the FDA. They hope that will happen in the coming year.
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