NEW YORK, April 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The patient, a 54-year-old male with metastatic lung cancer that had spread to his brain, liver, and bone and a very rare genetic mutation, continues to thrive because of targeted, combination drug therapy that works through epigenetic means and was introduced in his treatment plan three years ago. His case, treated at Gaynor Integrative Oncology in New York, is reported in the current issue of the Journal of Cancer Prevention and Current Research (Vol 2 Issue 3), the first reported clinical case study about the extended survival rate of a patient with this profile.
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Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, renowned integrative oncologist and author of the forthcoming book from Viking, The Gene Therapy Plan - Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle (to be released by Viking April 21), is lead author of the paper. Dr. Gaynor is Assistant Clinical Professor Medicine at the College, writes daily for www.genechanger.com, and is a frequent contributor to other publications and media outlets. In the paper, he outlines the targeted epigenetic therapy for this patient who is a non-smoker with Stage 4 lung cancer and a mutation of the BRAF gene which is usually found only in a type of skin cancer called melanoma.
This case is particularly compelling since mortality from metastatic lung cancer is greater than the combined mortality of the next three most common forms of cancer (breast, colon, and pancreatic). Given the high mortality rate and the reported resistance to BRAF inhibition therapy, this case represents a breakthrough analysis of a new drug treatment plan that offers huge potential for extending life for patients with a similar molecular profile.
The patient was originally diagnosed in 2008 and was treated with several chemotherapy regimens but developed progressive disease in the brain, bone, liver and lung. Molecular profiling subsequently confirmed a mutation in BRAF V600E, and he was treated with BRAF inhibitor, Dabrafenib. After initial positive response to Dabrafenib, significant disease progression was indicated by PET/CT and MRI and the patient was determined to have developed resistance to this drug. The patient was subsequently treated with a regimen co-targeting BRAF and MEK with Vemurafenib and Trametinib, drugs also usually used only for melanoma patients.
"Targeting specific genetic mutations with enhanced drug therapy that works on the genetic level is the hope offered by ecogenetic medicine," Dr. Gaynor comments. "Because of medicine's evolution into treatment that targets the functioning of tumor promoting and suppressing genes, there is hope of longer, more vibrant lives for all cancer patients. This case is a stunning example of the efficacy of targeted gene therapy treatment."
The conclusion of this clinical case study highlights the efficacy of targeted therapy in patients with cancer of the lung with BRAF mutations and the importance of molecular profiling in modern oncology. Since there is a high probability that patients will develop resistance to BRAF inhibition therapy, this breakthrough case study suggests the importance of examining new combinations of alternative BRAF inhibitors combined with MEK inhibition for malignancies other than melanoma.