Identification of key step in Lung Cancer Development could lead to new treatment strategy

Lung Cancer Therapeutics Market – Overview

Lung Cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the U.S. An estimated 158,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer, accounting for 27 percent of all cancer deaths. Lung adenocarcinoma, which is an aggressive form of cancer, accounts for about 40 percent of US Lung cancer cases. It arises from benign tumors known as adenomas. Biologists at MIT have recently identified a massive switch that occurs when adenomas transition into adenocarcinomas in a mouse model of lung cancer. Blocking this switch from adenomas to adenocarcinomas should prevent the tumors from becoming more aggressive. Administering patients with drugs that interfere with this switch may be the key to successful treatment of early stage lung cancers.

The switch occurs when a percentage of the cells start acting like stem cells which could give rise to an unlimited population of new cancer cells. The stem cells are the engine of tumor growth. In the study, the researchers focused on a cell signaling pathway known as Wnt which is usually only turned on during embryonic development when stem cells differentiate into our different body cells and also active in some adults that can regenerate specific tissues like the lining of the intestine. Since one of the main roles of the Wnt pathway is to maintain a stem cell-like state, the researchers suspected that it may also be involved when early stage tumors become adenocarcinomas. They found that the pathway is not a driver but it modifies the characteristics of the cancer cells. When the researchers gave mice a drug that interferes with the Wnt, the tumor stopped growing and on transplant of these modified tumor cells to new mice, they failed to generate any new tumors.

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These findings suggest that it could be worthwhile to test Wnt inhibitors on early stage lung cancer patients. They are also working on methods to deliver the inhibitor in a more targeted and efficient way to avoid some of the side effects caused by the drug. The inhibitor is now in clinical trials to treat other types of cancer.

The current Lung cancer therapeutics market can be broadly classified into Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, and other drugs. The most popular chemotherapy treatments include usage of Cisplatin, Taxol, Nevelbine, Camptosar, and Alimta. The other popular drugs used in treatment are Abraxane, Avastin, Crizotnib, Docetaxel, and Gefitinib. The market is growing at a CAGR of 6.7% and is estimated to reach USD 7.81 Billion by 2021, according to Market Data Forecast’s research report.

Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, Pfizer, GSK, Sanofi-Aventis, and AstraZeneca PLC are some of the many companies that are working on manufacturing and developing drugs and treatment methods for the deadly disease. Some of the recent findings include a study on White Blood Cell Boosting drugs which was found safe for patients undergoing chemotherapy. This could help patients recover more quickly from chemotherapy treatments and reduces the risk of infectious complications. Some researchers have also recently developed a blood test which could diagnose and help develop more personalized treatments for people with lung cancer using such a minimally invasive method.

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Increasing occurrences of lung cancer due to mounting smoking population and increased prevalence in non-smoking population is driving the market to grow through a huge demand in research and development and more effective treatment methods that are safer, have less side effects and could destroy the cancer before it becomes too much of a problem and ruins the patient’s lives.

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