Focusing on You: Recent Advancements in Lung Cancer Treatment

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Patients are living longer, thanks to targeted therapies.

Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez, an oncologist/hematologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses recent advancements in lung cancer treatments helping patients live longer, happier lives. We also meet patient Matilde Quintana, who after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, is now about to celebrate five years of being in remission.


TRANSCRIPTION

Narrator:
Matilde Quintana will never forget the day she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

Matilde Quintana: 
My regular doctor told me "Matilde, you're not going to be alive." This was in May. "You're not going to be alive in January."

Narrator:   
Nearly five years later, Matilde is beating the odds. Today there are new and better treatment options for patients with lung cancer.

Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez: 
There's been nine new drugs approved for lung cancer since March of 2020. And these are treatments that were never available before for patients.

Narrator:
Oncologist Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez says more personalized, targeted therapies are changing the way doctors treat each patient.

Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez: 
We're now able to define lung cancer, before we thought all the lung cancers look the same, and we understand that there are different mutations and we can select patients that will respond based on those markers for those mutations.

Narrator:  
A new class of immunotherapy drugs is allowing patients like Matilde to respond longer than they did with chemotherapy alone.

Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez:
What we're trying to do is activate the patient's own immune system to fight the cancer.

Narrator:
Matilde continues her treatment at Sylvester, combining chemotherapy and immunotherapy, which she might no longer need.

Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez:    
These are decisions that we never had to make with patients with lung cancer, that we have patients that are doing so well.