For decades, lung cancer was synonymous with low survival rates, limited treatment options, and poor quality of life for those living with the disease. Each year, more than 236,000 people in the US are diagnosed with lung cancer. The high incidence of lung cancer means scientific research into new therapies is critical, both for current survivors and those who will be diagnosed in the future. Thankfully, the landscape of lung cancer is changing for the better. Due to progress in research and drug development, there are more treatments and hope for the lung cancer community than ever before.
Today, lung cancer is forging the way in the fields of precision medicine and immunotherapy, with 35 new drugs approved over the last five years. In fact, there have been more lung cancer therapies approved by the US FDA(Food and Drug Administration) in the last three years than in the previous 30 years combined. Yet, the progress does not stop there, and more treatments are in the pipeline. Lung cancer leads the solid tumor oncology space with the highest number of treatment options in clinical trials.1 The recently published LUNGevity study, The 2021 Global Lung Cancer Therapy Landscape, reviewed 707 potential lung cancer therapies that are in the clinical trial phase. These treatments addressed small cell and non-small cell lung cancer and included targeted therapies, immuno-oncology therapies, and chemotherapy. New breakthroughs are especially exciting in early-stage disease, opening up new treatments to more patients, and underscoring the need for increased research funding to maintain the momentum.
Dr. Charles Rudin shared the following sentiment during the 2022 International Lung Cancer Survivorship Conference. “It is definitely true that there is hope now for lung cancer patients to lead high-quality longer lives. This hope is entirely based on research and clinical trials. I am very hopeful that continued research will result in a new generation of even better treatment approaches with the goal of curing all lung cancer.”
This World Lung Cancer Day, we celebrate the improving landscape for people diagnosed with lung cancer while recommitting our investment in scientific research to speed breakthroughs for patients so they can live longer and better lives. If you are looking for a way to fund research and support the lung cancer community of today and tomorrow, consider making a donation or becoming a lung cancer advocate.
1The 2021 Global Lung Cancer Therapy Landscape - https://www.jto.org/article/S1556-0864(22)00211-8/fulltext#bib4