New lights in the fight against cancer


For several decades, lung cancer has been the most widespread cancer in the world with an estimate of 1.8 million new cases in 2012. To illustrate the very latest frontiers in the fight against this terrible disease is Dr. Danilo Rocco, oncologist of the AORN of the Hills of Naples.Dr. Rocco, what does targeted therapy or a molecular target mean?This term refers to a type of drug therapy for the treatment of tumors aimed at countering the specific mechanisms of the carcinogenesis process (formation and growth of cancer) of the individual neoplasms. The drugs of this type are consequently effective towards defined types of cancer: they are selective (this is also referred to as personalized therapy) and generally endowed with minor adverse effects compared to chemotherapeutic drugs and of a much higher efficacy.Dr. Rocco, what is anti-tumor perimunotherapy and how does it work?It is a type of cancer therapy that works with a completely different mechanism of action than other treatments, because it does not use drugs that directly target the cancer cells but they act on the immune system: they activate it to attack and fight the tumor through antibodies normally present in our body. Once activated, the immune system can contain the growth of the tumor. And so, after so many disappointments and without sensationalism, I think we are finally on the right track, at least to try to “chronicize” the disease, that is to prolong and improve the lives of patients.

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