Gibbs Cancer Center selected to test new drugs for lung cancer

Posted by Samantha Powell on July 2nd, 2014 |

The Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute in Spartanburg has been selected as one of the first 10 sites in the world to test new drugs that target the type of lung cancer often associated with smoking.

Patients who meet eligibility requirements will be administered the drugs based on a 200-gene profile, which uses biomarkers to identify mutations and helps doctors and researchers personalize which medicine best fits an individual.

“This is personalized treatment,” said Dr. James D. Bearden, vice president of clinical research at Gibbs Cancer Center. “This looks at the makeup of the cancer. It uses clinical information for the patient, and it selects, on the basis of the information … a drug that targets that mutation, that destroys the cell that has that mutation. So it’s individualized treatment.”

Using targeted drugs based on a patient’s genetic profile increases that person’s chances living longer with fewer reoccurrences or side effects, he said. “This is the future,” Bearden said.

Potential patients have a small window for treatment, said Leesa Judd, director of clinical research. The drugs are intended to be a second-line treatment for squamous cell lung cancer patients who already have received surgical, radiation and/or chemotherapy treatment.

The Lung Cancer Master Protocol, or Lung MAP, trials are the result of a broad partnership between the National Cancer Institute and a number of public and private entities, including five drug manufacturers.

Initially, the trials will include 2,236 patients nationally, though more could be enrolled if other drugs are added to the mix.

South Carolina ranked 13th in the nation in 2010 for lung cancer occurrences in men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We live in the Tobacco Belt. This is a great opportunity to offer this to patients,” Bearden said. “We wanted to be one of the first out of the gate.”

For more information, or to discuss eligibility criteria, call the cancer center’s research department at 864-560-6812.

Date: 7/2/14
Outlet Full Name: Go Update
Author: Jason Spencer

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