Lung cancer a dangerous disease, everybody get scared of this disease. Due to lack of knowledge about its treatment people lose hope, while they got diagnosed by lung cancer; but there are many treatments and drugs are now invented and this deadly disease is not that much danger as on previous years.
First-line treatment for lung cancer is a first systemic therapy in which a first drug or combination of drugs given to the patient. Sometime first-line treatment is followed by “second-line” or “third-line, it may depend on the penitent.
There is no specific first-line treatment, as every patient requires different drugs according to their tumor. If “first-line” treatment causes any problem, or does not seems to be working, or showing dangerous side effect; doctor changes the treatment.
When first-line treatment is started, doctor start monitoring patents progress on varieties of ways like their symptoms, progress, side effects of drugs. Also doctor advice patient for regular blood tests, CT scans, physical examine, and PET scans. These all regular tests and monitoring is done to know the progress of patient’s and also to know that the treatment is working well or they need to change it.
Let’s have a look on first-line treatments:
- Patients with squamous and nonsquamous cell carcinoma who do not have a genetic change on either the EGFR or ALK gene – mostly patients who are able to take care themselves; chemotherapy is recommended.
- Patients with squamous cell and nonsquamous cell carcinoma who have a genetic change on the EGFR – mostly those are not able to take care of themselves; Afatinib (Gilotrif), Erlotinib (Tarceva) or Gefitinib (Iressa) therapy is recommended.
- Patients with a genetic change on the ALK or ROS1 gene; crizotinib (Xalkori) is recommended.
First-line treatment stops when patient is not improving from disease after four-cycle or tumor goes into worst condition. If the drug pemetrexed (Alimta) is included in first-line treatment, the patient many continue drug taking; only if the cancer is not gone worse during treatment. If pemetrexed is not in first-line treatment then a break from chemotherapy is recommended, but for nonsquamous cell carcinoma pemetrexed is used.
Read “Second-Line Treatment for Lung Cancer” and “Third-Line Treatment for Lung Cancer” post for more systemic therapy detail.
Always concern your doctor before getting your treatment, he knows well for you. Don’t be your own doctor.