Significant progress in small-cell lung cancer research

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Small-cell lung cancer is a particularly aggressive type of tumor with a consistently high mortality rate. In recent years, the research of scientists at MedUni Vienna’s Department of Thoracic Surgery has significantly contributed to a better understanding and new therapeutic approaches in this malignant disease. Their comprehensive overview of new insights and advances in small-cell lung cancer has just been published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the highest-ranked international scientific journal.

The key findings of Balazs Döme’s team from the Department of Thoracic Surgery at MedUni Vienna primarily consist of new insights into the biology and heterogeneity of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). In collaboration with colleagues from Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the United States, the researchers previously demonstrated that SCLC can be categorized into different subgroups which are associated with varying clinical behaviors and potentially new therapeutic strategies. They also demonstrated that certain combinations of multiple drugs represent a particularly promising therapeutic approach in patients with characteristic molecular SCLC profiles.

Based on these profound research contributions, the team from the Translational Thoracic Oncology Research Laboratory at MedUni Vienna’s Department of Thoracic Surgery was recently invited to present a comprehensive overview of recent advances in small-cell lung cancer. The review from Balazs Döme and his team has now been published in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the flagship journal of the American Cancer Society with the highest impact factor (286) of any scientific journal worldwide.

“We are delighted that our research achievements have received such high recognition,” says Konrad Hötzenecker from the Department of Thoracic Surgery. “This provides an optimal base to further expand the clinical and translational lung cancer research activities of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna as one of the leading centers,” emphasizes the newly appointed Professor of Thoracic Surgery and Director of the Department Clemens Aigner.

Expediting the development of personalized therapies

Approximately 15 percent of lung cancer patients are affected by small-cell lung cancer. This particularly aggressive tumor, which usually occurs in smokers, grows rapidly, has an increased tendency to metastasize, and a high mortality rate. According to Balazs Döme, conventional therapies have reached their plateau of effectiveness in SCLC. “With our research work, we have already created the basis for the development of targeted, personalized therapeutic approaches, which we now want to advance further,” Döme states, announcing further research.



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