ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women. The five-year survival rate for advanced non-small cell lung cancer, that has spread to distant areas of the body, is seven percent. However, doctors believe the key to increasing survival rates for advanced lung cancer patients is in the genes.

More than 235,000 people will hear the words you have lung cancer this year. But there are more treatment options today to increase their odds of survival.

“Twenty years ago, lung cancer was a one-size-fits-all, now it’s a very heterogeneous population of patients based on various DNA alterations,” Mark A. Socinski, MD, an executive medical director at AdventHealth Cancer, told Ivanhoe.

And one of those DNA alterations is the MET exon 14 skip mutation in non-small cell lung cancer. Dr. Socinski calls the mutation an oncogenic driver.

Dr. Socinski elaborated, “Meaning that it causes the cancer to grow. Knowing this, there are specific targeted therapies that can inhibit the growth of cancer.”

Doctor Socinski uses genomic testing to search for the met-exon-14 skip mutation and other mutations in his patients. He believes genetic testing may allow doctors to pinpoint an exact target to attack the cancer.

“That process of coupling a target with a targeted therapy makes it much more effective and much more rapidly approved by the FDA,” Mark A. Socinski, MD, noted.

Allowing doctors to get the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time.

Since the discovery of the MET exon 14 skip mutation, two targeted therapies have been rapidly approved by the FDA. Dr. Socinski says these therapies have been more effective than chemotherapy and immunotherapy in treating advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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