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New lung cancer research presented at CHEST 2008


(Tuesday, October 28, 1:00 PM EST)

Lung cancer in younger patients may exhibit distinct clinical features than lung cancer in older patients, including better survival rates at each disease stage. Researchers from Stanford Cancer Center in California compared disease characteristics and survival of lung cancer patients aged 15 to 39 years at diagnosis with patients aged ≥40 years at diagnosis. The age-adjusted incidence rate of lung cancer in patients aged 15 to 39 years was 1.2 per 100,000, whereas the rate in patients aged ≥40 years was 141 per 100,000. A higher proportion of younger patients (57 percent) had distant disease at diagnosis compared with older patients (51 percent). Mean 5-year cause-specific survival was 34 percent in the group of patients aged 15 to 39 years and 16 percent in the group aged ≥40 years. In addition, at each disease stage, mean 1- and 5-year cause-specific survival rates were better in the younger group.


(Wednesday, October 29, 1:00 PM EST)

The use of herbal remedies may be an effective supportive therapy to control symptoms and improve quality of life in patients with advanced stage lung cancer. Researchers from Jafary Medical Clinics in West Virginia followed 15 patients with end-stage primary lung cancer who failed to improve with a conventional treatment of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Patients were treated with American ginseng for fatigue, morphine sulfate for control of severe dyspnea and pain, licorice root powder for control of severe coughing spells, and bilevel pressure ventilation for respiratory depression related to IV morphine. Two patients also were taking oldenlandia, a Chinese herb for lung cancer. Results showed that licorice and ginseng were effective therapies for the majority of patients, and morphine, used as nebulizer in two patients, was effective in the control of marked dyspnea and pain. One patient lived 4 months using the supportive therapy, while the remaining patients lived 6 to 12 weeks.


Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians

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