New lung cancer treatment approved
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) continuing to run as normal and has this week approved a new treatment for ALK-positive lung cancer.
The targeted therapy, Lorlatinib, will now be available to patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer whose disease has progressed after treatment with alectinib or ceritinib, or crizotinib and at least one other ALK inhibitor.
“Very positive development” for antibody test
Health officials in England have approved a test to find out if people have been infected with coronavirus in the past.
The antibody test has been developed by Swiss pharmaceutical company, Roche, who also manufacture lung cancer immunotherapy treatment, atezolizumab. It looks for antibodies to see if a person has already had the virus and, potentially, may now have some immunity.
Until now, such tests have not been deemed reliable enough. Public Health England has described Roche’s antibody test as a “very positive development”.
Patient grants made easier
We have made it even easier for people living with lung cancer to apply for financial help.
Previously, applications had to go through a lung cancer nurse specialists. However, shielding has made this difficult and so we have changed the way applications are made to ensure those in need receive financial help.
Patients can now apply for a grant on our website. We will then contact their nurse on their behalf to confirm the patient has lung cancer before issuing the grant. We aim to do this within 10 working days.
Coronavirus survivor to be subject of new research study
A father of two from Essex has walked out of hospital after recovering from coronavirus, pneumonia, sepsis, heart failure and a double stroke.
Omar Taylor spent six weeks at Colchester General Hospital with the virus, with his family warned to ‘prepare for the worst’. He was on a ventilator for 20 days.
However, the 31-year-old made a miraculous recovery and is now back at home.
He is now going to be the subject of a study so researchers can glean some knowledge about what happened to him in a bid to create future treatment protocols for other patients.
Kaitlyn Taylor is his wife:
“We are so overwhelmed with joy that Omar is home. I never thought it would happen. It is incredible news and we are so proud he is helping other patients.”
Let’s hear it for the nurses
This week, the world rallied in support of International Nurses Day.
We know all too well the important role lung cancer nurse specialists have on a patient’s experience. Studies have shown people with lung cancer live longer and cope better with treatment when cared for by specialist nurses. They also have a lower risk of being admitted to hospital unnecessarily.
In the current situation, many are doing their day job and more, putting their lives on the line to protect ours so we wanted to say thank you again for everything you do.