Treating Brain Metastases in Biomarker-Driven Lung Cancer


Manmeet Ahluwalia, MD, discusses brain metastases in patient with biomarker-driven lung cancer and outcomes of these patients.

Manmeet Ahluwalia, MD, the chief of Medical Oncology, chief scientific officer & deputy director at Miami Cancer Institute of Baptist Health South Florida, discusses brain metastases in patientswith biomarker-driven lung cancer.

According to Ahluwalia, patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancer and brain metastases generally do not do well. Many new therapies have been introduced for these patients and prolonged their survival, but more options are needed. For those with ALK-altered disease, patients are living much longer, explains Ahluwalia.


0:07 | As we all know, outcomes of patients with brain metastases have traditionally been dismal. On average, these patients only survive 9 to12 months. However, with advances in the field of precision oncology, in the last decade or so, we've made some major breakthroughs. We now have patients with brain metastases, EGFR-positive lung cancer, for example, who are now living 24 to 30 months. We have patients with ALK-altered lung cancer and brain metastases that on an average are living 5 to 6 years.

0:44 | We've seen transformative changes in the field of brain metastases. Now, a lot of our research focuses on combining the targeted therapies and immunotherapies with forms of radiation. This is to see if the combinatorial approaches can further improve the quality-of-life of our patients and help them live longer.

1:07 | I think we have made tremendous progress in outcomes of patients for brain metastases. We now have targeted therapies and immunotherapies that are working extremely well for these patients. Traditionally, radiosurgery or focused forms of radiation were the foundation of treatment for these patients. I think the next 5 to 10 years will focus on how we can combine focused forms of radiation with targeted therapies or immunotherapies. We should also decide the scheduling and the sequencing of these modalities to provide more individualized efforts for our patients in a multidisciplinary manner.

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