Why Are Targeted Therapies Important and What Makes Them “Personalized”?

Exciting new treatments for lung cancer are being discovered that may be used alone, before or after, or in combination with traditional chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.    TARGETED THERAPIES are treatments that specifically target mutational changes in cancer cells.  IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY is a kind of IMMUNOTHERAPY that stimulate or uses a patient’s own immune system to combat cancer.

We call this “personalized medicine” because each patient’s tumor has a unique genetic profile as a result of any number of mutations that can happen in the genes of cancer cells. Patient A’s cancer may have mutation X, while Patient B’s may have mutation Y, and so on. This means that what works for one patient with lung cancer may not work for another. We are rapidly learning how to use this knowledge to match the best treatment for each individual patient.