Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. Non-small cell cancers include squamous cell and adenocarcinomas.
"The big picture is we are learning about these mutations that tell us something about lung cancer, which has in some cases given us targets to guide us to use certain drugs because we know they have a higher chance of being effective," Lichtenfeld said.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for men and women, killing an estimated 157,000 people this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Experts note that research presented at meetings has not been subjected to the same type of rigorous scrutiny given to research published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on lung cancer.
SOURCES: Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Paul Bunn, professor, lung cancer research, University of Colorado, and executive director, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer; Jan. 9, 2012, presentations, American Association for Cancer Research/International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer meeting, San Diego
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