Medical Minute 11-22: Erasing Lung Cancer

By: Melissa Medalie Email
By: Melissa Medalie Email

Glenn Mitchell has never even touched a cigarette, so he never expected a diagnosis of lung cancer.

Then another surprising thing happened: After less than two months of a new experimental treatment -- just three pills twice a day -- his
cancer was nearly gone!

"I expected the drug to work, but not in 4 weeks!" exclaimed Glenn Mitchell.

Mitchell is one of more than a hundred patients testing an experimental drug called Crizotinib. It targets a specific tumor cell abnormality - specifically the switch that turns on and off the cancer.

"So the cancer cells for them to grow and multiply and spread to other parts of the body constantly require certain signals to be on, and this drug turns off the switch," said Suresh S. Ramalingam, M.D., Director of Medical Oncology.

In recent studies, more than half the patients taking the experimental drug had tumor shrinkage or major change in their cancer.

"This is a breakthrough. I just hope it will help others too," said Glenn Mitchell.

Mitchell's treatment is going so well, he can think less about his lung cancer, and more about retirement. He's goin' fishing!

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Nicola S. BlandonAdministrative AssistantEmory University(404) 778 - 5378Nicola.blandon@emory.edu


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