- Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women.
- Blood test found to identify treatment options for lung cancer.
- Identifying the genetic differences will help to find the best treatment for lung cancer.
Treatment options for Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) can be identified using a blood test based on a research study from The University of Manchester.
The research findings was published in the journal Nature Medicine
‘Blood samples can be used to predict the best treatment options for lung cancer.’
Lung cancer is often characterized by abnormal cell growth in the lungs. It is the second most common cancer in men and women.
Lung cancer mainly occurs in older people who are above the age of 65.
Scientists isolated circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from the blood of 31 lung cancer patients.. These cells were found to be located away from the main cancer.
When these cells were analysed, scientists were able to unveil different patterns of genetic faults before treatment and were found to be associated with how well and how long a patient can respond to chemotherapy.
Lung biopsy which involves the analysis of tumor sample from lung cancer patients can often be difficult as it is hard to reach the tissue and also the samples obtained are too small to reveal clue for identifying the treatment options for the disease.
Alternative options like liquid biopsies can help in obtaining tumor sample from the diseased patients.
The research team explored the genetic changes associated in patients who responded well to the treatment initially and later deteriorate. These patterns were different from those patients who did not respond properly to chemotherapy.
Professor Caroline Dive, lead scientist said, "Our study reveals how blood samples could be used to anticipate how lung cancer patients may respond to treatments."
"Unfortunately, we have very few treatment options for patients with SCLC, and none at all for those whose cancer is resistant to chemotherapy."
"By identifying differences in the patterns of genetic faults between patients, we now have a starting point to begin to understand more about how drug resistance develops in patients with this aggressive form of lung cancer."
Dr Emma Smith, Cancer Research UK's science information manager also said that, "Lung cancer causes more than one in five of all cancer deaths in the UK and it's vital that we find effective new treatments to fight the disease and save more lives.
"These liquid biopsies are an incredibly exciting area of research. Studies like this help build a bigger picture of the disease, pointing the way to developing new treatments that are urgently needed for people with lung cancer."