In this Hope With Answers℠ video, you will meet Shelly Engfer-Triebenbach, who is a #lungcancer patient and passionate advocate. Shelly asks Dr. Alice Shaw about the specifics for treatments for ALK+ lung cancer.
In this ALK+ Biomarker video you will learn the answers to these questions:
- How is ALK+ lung cancer treated?
- Can a patient with any stage of ALK+ lung cancer be treated with targeted therapies?
- Is Immunotherapy an option for ALK+ patients?
- Are there any Immunotherapy/Targeted Therapy combinations that work for ALK+ patients?
How is ALK+ Lung Cancer Treated?
Once it is confirmed that your lung cancer tests positive for the #ALK mutation, there are many treatment options in addition to targeted therapy. If your lung cancer hasn’t yet spread and it’s in an early stage, you might be a candidate for surgery to have the lung cancer completely removed. If not, there are drugs known as “Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (#TKI)” or “ALK inhibitors.” These drugs target your ALK+ mutation and stop your cancer from growing and spreading.
ALK inhibitors have been very successful and can be effective for months and often years. However, eventually most of these drugs stop working because the cancer cells develop resistance and can start growing again. The good news is that researchers develop new and improved drugs all the time.
Can a patient with any stage of ALK+ lung cancer be treated with targeted therapies?
The FDA approvals have, so far, been for patients with advanced disease, but new clinical trials are in progress all the time.