Local hospitals develop new therapies for lung cancer

Local hospitals are involved in developing key technologies and participating in new medical equipment research to fight lung cancer.

Precise and individualized radiation therapy can achieve effects similar to surgery for patients with early-stage lung cancer who are unable to receive surgery due to their age, physical condition or other reasons, local medical experts said.

With some 68,000 people being diagnosed with cancer in Shanghai every year, lung cancer, at 18.1 percent of all cases, is the type with the highest incidence and mortality.

It is responsible for the deaths of 24.2 percent of patients killed by cancer every year.

With the promotion of low-dose CT scans for lung cancer screening, more people with early-stage lung cancer can be detected. Through surgery, almost all patients in the early stage can survive for more than five years.

“But there are many patients in the early stage who can’t receive surgery because they are old, have other diseases, or have multiple lung nodules,” said Dr Fu Xiaolong, director of Shanghai Chest Hospital’s radiation department. 

Fu said that many people think radiation can only be used for those in the late stage of cancer, but that it is actually useful for patients in other stages, too. 

"To help these patients, we have developed key technologies for individualized and precise radiation treatment,"  Fu said. They have also set up a whole-process management system covering patients' life environments, clinical information, diagnoses and treatment, all performed using big-data.

In addition to developing key technologies and participating in new medical equipment research, local hospitals are involved in new, domestic-made drug and therapy development.

Shanghai Chest Hospital has teamed up with over ten leading hospitals, research institutes and universities across the nation to carry out studies specifically targeting immunity therapy for Chinese lung cancer patients.

“We set up a basic database for immune checkpoints of lung cancer for Chinese patients and found differences between them and Western patients,” said Dr Lu Shun from Shanghai Chest Hospital. 

“Immunity therapy is a very promising treatment and will help achieve chemo-free treatment for lung cancer in the near future.”

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