Prognosis and Hope

Dr. Adjei discusses the exciting breakthroughs in personalized medicine and lung cancer treatment.

The first questions we typically hear from our newly-diagnosed patients are:

  • What’s my prognosis?
  • Will I survive?
  • Can I be cured?

Clinically speaking, both your prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:

  • The stage of the cancer (the size of the tumor and whether it is in the lung only or has spread to other places in the body)
  • The type of lung cancer
  • Whether there are symptoms such as coughing or trouble breathing
  • Your general health

Once we know your tumor’s stage, we will have a general idea of how well others with your cancer have done in terms of survival. But keep in mind that these are just statistics, and every tumor, every treatment plan, and every response to treatment and side effects, will be different for each patient. And even for advanced lung cancer, where reported survival rates are low, there is always reason to hope.

No Two Cancers Are Alike

Just as no two lung cancer patients are exactly alike, the same can be said about their cancers. Each tumor is genetically different from another, and these molecular differences can translate to one patient responding to treatment while another does not.

Roswell Park’s lung cancer team is committed to giving you, whether diagnosed with early-stage or more advanced cancer, a fighting chance. You have our promise that we will provide the best care and treatments available, and the tools, support and resources you need to ensure both quality of care and quality of life.

Screening Test for Lung Cancer? Hope on the Horizon

Biopsies are the only sure way to detect lung cancer, and they are highly involved and invasive for patients. That’s why Roswell Park researcher Sai Yendamuri, MD, FCCP, hopes to develop a blood test to help diagnose the cancer in patients before they undergo a biopsy. If successful, such a test could help with early diagnosis of lung cancer, and improve cure rates for the disease.

Specifically, his research team is looking at microRNAs, small regulatory molecules. Their preliminary work suggests that microRNA profiling of whole blood can distinguish — with high accuracy — people with lung cancer from people without lung cancer.