More people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are likely to benefit from new drugs that target molecular alterations in tumor cells, with less need for chemotherapy, following results of multiple landmark clinical trials reported for the first time in late-breaking presentations at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2023 (1-7) in Madrid, Spain (October 20-24).. Better outcomes were achieved with combinations of experimental new drugs targeting common and rare tumor mutations than with standard treatments, with improvements seen in both early and late-stage NSCLC – the type of lung cancer responsible for approximately 8 of 10 cases of the disease (8). “The results are very impressive and mean that we can expect major changes in first-line treatment for patients with NSCLC with these targetable tumor cell alterations, and in the way we care for patients whose previous treatment has stopped working,” said Professor Alessandra Curioni-Fontecedro, University of Fribourg, Switzerland. “As a result, it will be more important than ever that lung cancer is diagnosed and treated by lung cancer specialists with access and understanding of molecular testing and findings,” she added.
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