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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer includes two main types: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Smoking causes most lung cancers, but nonsmokers can also develop lung cancer.

General Information About Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


Read the full article on the National Cancer Institute website.

General Information About Small Cell Lung Cancer


Read the full article on the National Cancer Institute website.

Non-standard treatment options

Glycyrrhetinic acid
Glycyrrhetinic acid is a bioactive component of licorice
This study demonstrated, for the first time, that Glycyrrhetinic acid decreased cell proliferation of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer cells.

Joe Tippens Protocol

The Joe Tippens Fenbendazole Cancer Protocol (sometimes referred to simply as the Tippens Protocol) has been gaining rapid interest in the past year following Tippens’ great success in treating his own terminal lung cancer. In just weeks, Tippens cured his cancer using a cheap, available, and surprising product: Fenbendazole, a $10 over-the-counter dog de-wormer.
See full Protocol at healnavigator.com

Joe Tippins interview

Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)
This study says that H2O2, is a very interesting potential therapeutic tool to fight cancer. The proper and cautious use of H2O2 in combination with commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs may have synergistic effects increasing lung cancer cell death. Particularly, novel therapeutic approaches combining H2O2 with repositioned drugs may help to decrease the mortality from this malignancy.
See Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)

Polysaccharide-K (PSK) or krestin, from the mushroom T. versicolor, is an approved mushroom product used for cancer treatment in Japan. PSK is a proprietary formulation from the Kureha Corporation. PSK has been used as an adjunctive cancer treatment in thousands of patients since the mid-1970s. The safety record for PSK is well established in Japan.
National Cancer Institute

This Review of lung cancer studies says:
Fifteen of 17 preclinical studies supported anticancer effects for PSK through immunomodulation and potentiation of immune surveillance, as well as through direct tumor inhibiting actions in vivo that resulted in reduced tumor growth and anti-metastatic effects. Nonrandomized controlled trials showed improvement of various survival measures including median survival and 1-, 2-, and 5-year survival. Randomized controlled trials showed benefits on a range of endpoints, including immune parameters and hematological function, performance status and body weight, tumor-related symptoms such as fatigue and anorexia, as well as survival.
See more on PSK page.

CIMAvax EGF is a therapeutic anticancer vaccine developed entirely in Cuba and licensed in Cuba for use in adult patients with stage IIIB/IV non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The vaccine is based on active immunotherapy by which an individual’s immune response is manipulated to release its own effector antibodies (Abs) against the epidermal growth factor (EGF). ( Source)

Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer
This study found that the Median Survival Time for vaccinated patients was 14.66 months versus 8.63 months for non vaccinated patients. Five-year survival rate was 23% for vaccinated patients while no non vaccinated patients were alive after five years.

This study concluded:
Vaccination with CIMAvax-EGF is safe, immunogenic and leads to an increase in survival with a good quality of life in patients with lung tumors at advanced stages.

This study concluded:
CIMAvax was well tolerated. It is unique as in our patients the treatment worked well in the squamous as well as non squamous patients. Presence of EGF mutation did not affect the outcome. Since more than 90% of the patients lived more than 12 months and close to half lived close to 24months clearly shows this vaccine will have to be investigated in larger Phase III trials to confirm it’s efficacy.

Honokiol is a lignin isolated from the bark, seed cones, and leaves of the trees of various Magnolia species. Honokiol, along with other active molecules in magnolia, such as magnolol and obovatol, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. (Life Extension)

This study says:
Here…we report that HNK exerts inhibitory effects on the metastasis of lung cancer cells to the brain indicating that the compound has chemopreventive potential against both primary lung tumors and on metastasis of lung cancer to the brain.

This Research Review found:
The preclinical research on honokiol is compelling, and its potential benefits combined with lack of toxicity are promising. Honokiol is currently being administered by a growing number of clinicians as an adjuvant therapy to address numerous pro-inflammatory and neurologic conditions, as well as multiple types of cancer.

This study concluded:
… our results show that honokiol is a promising chemotherapeutic agent with a variety of anticancer effects. Honokiol treatment induced growth inhibition of osteosarcoma cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

This study says:
Honokiol, a natural biphenolic compound, exerts anticancer effects through a variety of mechanisms on multiple types of cancer with relatively low toxicity…Additionally, honokiol inhibited the migration and invasion of ovarian cancer cells… These results indicated that honokiol may have therapeutic potential in ovarian cancer by targeting AMPK activation.

This study says:
We have demonstrated for the first time that honokiol has potent anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor properties in vitro and is systemically active against aggressive angiosarcoma in vivo.

methadone hydrochloride
A drug used to treat moderate to severe pain that does not respond to other types of pain medicine. It is also used to help people who are addicted to opioid drugs such as heroin. Methadone hydrochloride binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. It is a type of analgesic agent and a type of opioid. – National Cancer Institute.

This study says:
 We have found that methadone, a drug already in wide clinical use, has significant growth inhibitory effects on lung cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, indicating that the antitumor effects of methadone should be investigated in patients.

This study concluded:
We have found that methadone, a drug already in wide clinical use, has significant growth inhibitory effects on lung cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, indicating that the antitumor effects of methadone should be investigated in patients. Our results suggest the intriguing possibility that the(+)isomer of methadone, with its lack of significant respiratory depressant activity and 10-fold lower binding to brain membranes than the (-) isomer, could be used to treat cancer, while potentially having less-addictive properties. In fact, if methadone is active in patients, its use could be considered at a very early stage of lung carcinogenesis in cigarette smokers. Previously, we found nicotine to reverse the growth inhibitory effects of morphine and DADLE ([D-Ala2,D-Leu5]enkephalin) in lung cancer cells. In contrast, nicotine was unable to reverse the methadone effect in these cells, indicating the use of methadone instead of morphine in smokers for potentially preventing the development of lung cancer during its very early stages.

For many lung cancer patients, Keytruda [pembro] is a better initial treatment than chemotherapy, study finds

Source: Los Angeles Times
By Melissa Healy Jun 05, 2018

In findings that may allow many lung cancer patients to avoid chemotherapy, a large clinical trial has shown that the immunotherapy drug Keytruda is a more effective initial treatment for two-thirds of patients with the most common type of lung cancer.

Compared with advanced small-cell lung cancer patients who got chemotherapy, those treated first with Keytruda had a median survival time that was four to eight months longer.

The difference was greatest among patients whose cancers harbored high levels of the genetic mutations Keytruda uses to target malignancy. But even patients whose cancers had very low levels of these mutations outlived patients who got chemotherapy by a median of four months.

In addition, treating lung cancer patients with Keytruda improved quality of life. Among those who got the immunotherapy drug, only 18% experienced severe side effects, compared with 41% on chemotherapy.

The findings, presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, will probably expand Keytruda’s use as a first-line treatment for advanced small-cell lung cancer, the most common form of the disease.
Read the full article in Los Angeles Times

Dendritic Cell Therapy
A special type of immune cell that is found in tissues, such as the skin, and boosts immune responses by showing antigens on its surface to other cells of the immune system. A dendritic cell is a type of phagocyte and a type of antigen-presenting cell (APC) – National Cancer Institute

This Review stated:
We conclude that dendritic cell therapy is a safe and well tolerated immunotherapeutic method that can elicit immunity even in patients with advanced-stage cancer. This work also confirms that dendritic cell-based interventions have only some capacity to produce objective tumour responses, as established by classic response assessment criteria such as RECIST. Although not all studies were designed primarily to measure survival, an increasing number indicate that dendritic cell therapy could confer a survival benefit.

This study says:
… we have concluded that patients in the DC-based experimental arm present significantly better OS [Overall survival] …and PFS [Progression Free Survival]… in comparison to patients treated with the current standard of care.

Nivolumab (Opdivo)
OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a type of advanced stage lung cancer (called non-small cell lung cancer) that has spread or grown and you have tried chemotherapy that contains platinum, and it did not work or is no longer working.

Side effects: It can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in any area of your body and can affect the way these organs work. (Opdivo.com)

How Does Opdivo Work?
Source: asbestos.com
Opdivo is an immune checkpoint inhibitor that works with the T cells of your immune system to recognize and attack threats such as cancer cells.

Cancer cells can sometimes disguise themselves from T cells, allowing tumors to grow faster and spread quicker.

They do this by using the PD-1 pathway. Many cancer cells have high expressions of the PD-L1 protein, which can fool T cells into thinking the cancer cells are healthy cells, thus inhibiting the immune system response.

Opdivo essentially blocks the cancer’s ability to disguise itself, which in turn activates T cells to attack, resulting in decreased tumor growth.

This study says:
In conclusion, the results from this analysis … demonstrate that nivolumab treatment can enable long-term survival in a diverse population of patients with previously treated advanced NSCLC. Considering the historically low 5-year survival rate for patients with metastatic lung cancer, the estimated 5-year Overall Survival rate of 16% from the time of nivolumab treatment initiation observed in this cohort of heavily pretreated patients with advanced NSCLC constitutes a milestone in the advancement of lung cancer treatment.

Info from European Medicines Agency

For non-squamous NSCLC [non-small cell lung cancer], one main study involved 582 patients whose disease had progressed despite previous treatments. The average survival with Opdivo was 12 .2 months,compared with 9.4 months with docetaxel.

Opdivo is also used on its own to treat adults with non-small cell lung cancer that has spread locally or to other parts of the body in patients who have previously been treated with other cancer medicines (chemotherapy). Opdivo in combination with ipilimumab is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with intermediate/poor-risk advanced renal cell carcinoma

See Opdivo page

RadioFrequency Ablation (RFA)
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses heat to destroy cancer cells. It is a type of treatment called thermal ablation. It is used to try to cure a cancer, reduce its size or relieve pain. It can be given alone, or with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.  

RFA is mainly used to treat liver, lung or kidney cancer. It may sometimes be used to treat other cancer types.

Depending on your situation, you will have the treatment under local or general anaesthetic. The doctor uses an ultrasound or CT scan to guide the procedure.

A probe called an electrode applies an electrical current (radiofrequency) to a tumour. The current heats the cancer cells to a high temperature, which destroys (ablates) them.
Source: Macmillan cancer support

This study says:
Lung – Primary or metastatic lung cancer may be recalcitrant [resistant]to conventional therapies. While experience with RFA in the lung is nascent, early results are promising. To date, hundreds ofpatients have been treated with lung RFA. However, clinical data are limited and require larger patient populations to determine the efficacy of lung cancer ablation. RFA of these lesions in patients who are inoperable or refuse surgery presents different problems than ablation in other organs. The usually mild complication of pneumothorax is common, with a reported rate of 15–20%. In addition, Rose et al. documented microemboli in the carotid artery during lung RFA… However, there is growing data that lung RFA is as safe and effective as in other organs, especially when performed remote from the main pulmonary veins.

This study says:
RF ablation is a safe and effective treatment with a survival benefit for selected patients with primary and secondary lung tumors. Tumor status (solitary or multiple) and presence of extra-pulmonary metastasis at the initial RF ablation were significant prognostic factors for recurrence-free survival.

Intravenous Vitamin C
IOWA CITY, Iowa, (CBS2/FOX28) — Researchers at the University of Iowa’s Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center say vitamin C could be key in enhancing treatment options for several cancers. The team has been looking into how effective Vitamin C through an IV is in aiding treatments for lung, pancreatic, and a form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme.
See Vitamin C Therapy page for more

The National Cancer Institute says:
Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis. Two reviews summarize the molecular mechanisms of action of cannabinoids as antitumor agents. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death.

Cannabinoids may be useful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

Other possible effects of cannabinoids include:
Blocking cell growth.
Preventing the growth of blood vessels that supply tumors.
See Cannabinoids page for much more info


Some cancers that are diagnosed early do not develop symptoms requiring treatment, while others grow so slowly that the patient outlives the cancer and dies of other causes. Many of these are treated unnecessarily, leading to inflated survival rates.

The authors of this study which looked at cancer overdiagnosis stated: We estimate the magnitude of overdiagnosis from randomized trials: about 50% of chest x-ray and/or sputum-detected lung cancers.

This study says:…70% of patients with stage I disease survive for 5 years, and 40% of those with stage II cancers. This finding has prompted major efforts to develop early detection programmes. However, lung cancer screening studies and autopsy reports suggest that a substantial subset of screening-detected cancers are indolent, even in the setting of a cancer type often thought to be aggressive, with 20–25% of cancer detected estimated to be overdiagnosed.

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