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Building on basics

Breathing easier

Researchers at UC Davis Cancer Center are improving lung cancer treatment

Ask any doctor: Lung cancer is a tough disease. There are no good screening tests, so it's typically found after it has spread. And it tends to be diagnosed among people who have emphysema, asthma or other lung problems caused by years of smoking, making treatment difficult.

But tough though it may be, scientists are making headway against the tobacco-related disease. At the UC Davis Cancer Center, clinical researchers are investigating new approaches to chemotherapy and radiation, the mainstays of treatment when lung cancer becomes inoperable. The results of these efforts - while preliminary - are encouraging.

"Lung cancer can be cured," said David Gandara, a lung cancer researcher and professor of medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center. "The key is early diagnosis. I see patients in our studies all the time who are cured. We have lung cancer patients who are 10 and 15 years out of treatment without recurrences. It's a difficult disease but that doesn't mean we can't have good outcomes."


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