Heather A. Wakelee, MD
Understanding the molecular basis of lung cancer has allowed researchers to personalize patient treatment, but improving early detection methods and continuing to enhance the reach of immunotherapy will be crucial to further progress, said Heather Wakelee, MD.
, Wakelee shared insight on the current landscape of lung cancer and discussed how immunotherapy and targeted therapy can be improved for patients with NSCLC.
OncLive: What does a diagnosis of lung cancer mean today versus 5 years ago?
: We have a lot of other treatment options than we used to have. When I started treating patients with lung cancer, we really just had chemotherapy. Starting about 15 years ago, we started to understand the molecular basis of lung cancer in a way that we could actually change treatment. In the past 5 years, the number of targeted agents for EGFR
- and ALK
-positive NSCLC—as well as the rare mutations like ROS1
—gives us a lot of flexibility and options for patients in that setting.
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