DENVER - More people in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. This is true for both men and women. It is responsible for more deaths than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined. Lung cancer is almost always a fatal disease and by the time symptoms arise it is too late.
The key with lung cancer, as with all cancers, is early detection. National Jewish Health is engaged in several research projects that aim to improve lung cancer diagnosis in early stages. In one trial, National Jewish Health researchers are seeking to refine and improve lung-cancer screening by combining a blood test with CT imaging to detect disease earlier and more effectively. In another, they are working to identify exactly what dogs smell in a cancer patient’s breath and how that information might be used to detect lung cancer.
NJH researchers are investigating ways to pair cancer drugs more accurately with patients through DNA. Different cancer drugs are more effective with different mutations of the cancer. NJH research is looking at this avenue of personalized medicine as well.