Lung Cancer Research

Lung cancer researcher

Over the last decade, several new medicines have been developed to treat lung cancer, and many more are in development. One of the newest goals in treating cancer is personalizing therapy based on the specific tumor. Using the latest technologies, doctors can identify specific characteristics of tumors and develop drugs that "target" them specifically.

At the University of Chicago Medicine campus, lung cancer patients have access to the most promising medicines in development--often before they become available at other centers. Many of the latest trials are studying how chemotherapy plus a targeted therapy might improve outcomes for lung cancer patients.

Recently, doctors at the University of Chicago have made advances in personalizing cancer therapy, particularly with targeted therapies. Our team is also studying how to use genetic tests to determine which drugs may work best for which patients--so they can "match" the best treatment to the patient and reduce unwanted side effects.

For example, doctors are studying drugs that work by inhibiting the genetic mutations called epidermal growth factor receptors. These drugs block chemical reactions inside cells that lead to cancer growth. Studies suggest they may improve survival in patients with metastatic disease that have not been helped by other treatments. Such medicines also may cause fewer side effects that other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy.

Research efforts are also focused on understanding what makes cancer spread from the lung to other parts of the body. Our doctors are studying the various steps that cancer cells take as they grow and spread. This knowledge will help them develop better therapies for the future.