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Taipei City Hospital


Lung Cancer Target Therapy in Conjunction with Radiation Therapy Successfully Inhibited Brain Metastasis

       “Why did I get lung cancer even when I don’t smoke?”

       “How long can I live when the lung cancer has metastasized to the brain?

       “What are the treatment options I can try for lung cancer target therapy?”

       Mr. Wong, a 60 years old man due for retirement, with no history of smoking or alcohol, exercises on a regular basis and has a regular lifestyle. He came to our hospital’s Emergency Department due to weakness of the left limbs, suspecting acute stroke related symptoms. After diagnosis, he was confirmed with lung adenocarcinoma combined with brain, lung and bone metastasis. As he had special tumor gene mutation (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor, EGFR), he followed up after 1 year from subsequent treatment with brain radiation and oral target therapy showed a near complete reduction of the brain tumor, as well as more than 50% reduction in the lung tumors.

       Dr. Yi-Sheng Jhou, consultant from the Taipei City Hospital’s Renai Branch, said that, according to the updated data released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, cancer had been listed in Taiwan’s top 10 death causes for the past 36 years. Amongst them, lung cancer ranked the top among cancer deaths. Each year, over 10 thousand people are newly diagnosed with lung cancers; half of them have no particular bad habits such as smoking. It is speculated that air pollution induces acquired cell gene mutation, which in return transforms the cells into cancer cells.

       High risk groups such as people with family histories of lung cancer or smoking histories including second hand smoke, can seek low dose computer tomography for early lung cancer diagnosis. Early symptoms, for instance, chronic cough, blood tinged sputum and shortness of breath. Yet, symptoms and signs of the late stages of lung cancer depend on the area which it affects. If tumors metastatize to the brain, patients may experience dizziness, diplopia, limb weakness, drowsiness and other symptoms. Early lung cancer treatment is predominantly by surgical intervention. Treatments for late stages include target therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and so forth. If symptoms occur, it is recommended to seek early medical consultation and carry out relevant inspections in order to receive the best disease treatment possible.