New Treatment Could Help Thousands of Americans Affected By Lung Cancer
(ARA) – Hearing that you or someone you love has been diagnosed with lung cancer is life-changing news. Lou Calautti experienced this life changing moment when he was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer or NSCLC in 2008. Lou’s initial shock was magnified by the fact that the cancer had already spread to his adrenal glands. NSCLC is a form of lung cancer defined by the size and appearance of the cancer cells and comprises the vast majority of lung cancer cases (87%).
Unfortunately, despite available treatment options, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
Lou’s doctor believed new investigational treatments may lead to better outcomes and enrolled Lou in a clinical trial of ABRAXANE® (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) for the treatment of NSCLC.
Almost four years later, Lou’s disease is still stabilized and he is engaged to be married. “Four years is a long time,” said Lou. “I was grateful for the opportunity to be part of a clinical trial to try a new treatment for my lung cancer. I am very fortunate to still be here. I’ve been able to celebrate so many things during this time, such as proposing to the woman I love.”
Now, there is good news for other people like Lou with non-small cell lung cancer. Because of positive results from the clinical trial Lou participated in, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved ABRAXANE for Injectable Suspension for the first-line treatment of NSCLC in patients who are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation therapy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2007 more than 200,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with lung cancer and more than 150,000 died from the disease. The five-year survival rate for patients with NSCLC varies from 60 percent to less than one percent, depending on the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis.
The expected outcome, or prognosis, is based on several factors, but one of the most important factors is how advanced the cancer is or its “stage.” Generally, the earlier the disease is caught and treated, the better the prognosis. Unfortunately, poor outcomes are mainly due to the fact that NSCLC remains asymptomatic for a long period of time. People with this disease often go undiagnosed until the cancer has reached an advanced stage, when potentially curative surgery is no longer an option. That’s why it’s critical to have treatments for when surgery is no longer an option.
Today at the age of 77, Lou and his fiancé, who he met five years ago, are now able to focus on the future. They go bowling every Friday, and continue to be active and enjoy life.
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