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Thoracic (Lung) Cancer Clinical Research and Trials

  • Clinical research plays an essential role in the mission of the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology. Our center has played a leading role in lung cancer research over the past decade, helping to introduce a new era of personalized medicine for the treatment of lung cancer. A strategy of personalized therapy permeates our research, with intelligently designed clinical trials supported by laboratory research and studies of cancer genetics.

    The Lowe Center prides itself on offering cutting-edge clinical research. Our clinical trials are developed with the aim of identifying the most promising new cancer drugs and delivering them to the patients most likely to benefit from them. Many of these trials study targeted therapies, which are drugs that act on unique characteristics of cancer cells and often have milder side effects compared to conventional chemotherapy. Other drugs study immune therapies, which are drugs that help the patient's immune system to detect and attack the cancer. Often our trials will investigate new drug combinations, toward the goal of overcoming drug resistance.

    Personalized cancer therapy requires a detailed understanding of cancer genetics. By studying tumor tissue, we can often identify genetic changes which fuel the cancer's growth. Through the Precision Cancer Medicine Partnership with Brigham and Women's Hospital, we now routinely offer tumor gene sequencing which can guide patients to targeted treatment options. In addition to tumor analysis, we are investigating liquid biopsies, a non-invasive tool to help to fingerprint a cancer, and which may even be used for cancer monitoring or cancer detection.

    Doctors in our Lowe Center are also researching lung cancer in non-smokers, small cell lung cancer, resistance to targeted therapies, familial lung cancer, and other related areas.

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  • Spacewalk: A Study for Patients with ALK Drug Resistance

    This research study is for lung cancer patients with ALK-positive lung cancer who had been on a newer ALK targeted treatment to determine whether they have developed ALK resistance mutations. This is a remote participation study for any patient in the US and does not require travel to Dana-Farber. Learn more about this study and eligibility.