Lung Cancer: Awareness Month

Lung cancer - the most deadly form of cancer. Every year in November, is dedicated to raising awareness of the risk factors and the early diagnosis of lung cancer. Specialists at Herzliya Medical Center bring to your attention the latest research in the field of surgical treatment of lung cancer and immunotherapy.

Lobectomy for lung cancer: Thoracotomy and thoracoscopyLung Cancer Awareness Month

In identifying the relatively early stages of lung cancer amenable to surgical treatment. Removal of the lobe of the lung, also called lobectomy, can potentially lead to a cure. During surgery, the surgeon separates veins, arteries and the airways leading to the lobe, after which the lobe itself is detached from the lung and removed along with the tumor.

Until recently, this procedure was performed by open an open surgery method and meant opening the sternum and sawing ribs, called a thoracotomy.

Several years ago, thoracic surgeons began to develop and apply a minimally invasive technique, which involves only three small incisions between the ribs, one of which a small camera is introduced, and the others - surgical instruments. This surgical approach is called thoracoscopy.

Over the years, numerous studies have compared results and the postoperative period between a thoracotomy and thoracoscopy. All results lead to the same conclusion: Lobectomy for lung cancer using thoracoscopy is effective both in early and later stages of the disease (stage IA and IB). Compared with thoracotomy, after thoracoscopy there is a lower rate of postoperative complications and diseases. This minimally invasive technique also allows for more patients being eligible for surgery.

Dr. Michael Peer, a leading thoracic surgeon at HMC, commented: "Thoracoscopy has clear advantages over open chest surgery. Minimally invasive access reduces post-operative pain, a shortened hospital stay and recovery period, it also increases the chances of a full recovery and a better quality of life. "

Dr. Peer, head of the department of thoracic surgery at one of the public hospitals in Israel and the author of multiple scientific articles, including on the subject of comparing thoracotomy and thoracoscopy. Among the procedures performed by Dr. Peer, these include mediastinoscopy, lobectomy, segmentectomy, pneumectomy, biopsy of mediastinal lymph nodes and more.

Lung Cancer Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy - is a type of personalized medicine, which is based on the total action of the immune system of the body to fight cancer. Immunological drugs "tune" the body against cancer cells, helping to slow or stop the growth and spread of tumors.

This year we have seen several breakthroughs in immunotherapy for cancer, particularly lung cancer. Which is why the International Association for the study of lung cancer (IASLC) has decided to devote this year’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month to new immunological drugs that significantly change the prognosis of patients - even with advanced stages of the disease.

Oncologists, who specialize in the treatment of lung cancer, also believe immunotherapy to be a new era for patients, including for those who are not eligible for surgical treatment, or who underwent chemotherapy, which did not have the desired outcome.

This year the US organization of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved several immunological drugs for the treatment of lung cancer, including nivolumab (Opdivo®) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda®). Research and development on other drugs in lung cancer (and other cancer types) continues to reveal new cancer targets, bringing us closer to a cure or at least a long lasting treatment for patients.

Cancer specialists at Herzliya Medical Center implement an individual approach to each patient’s case, creating a personalized treatment plan based on thorough and extensive diagnostics aimed for an optimized treatment outcome.

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