Prof. Thierry Le Chevalier, MD: Management of Early Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Prof. Thierry Le Chevalier, MD discusses his teaching lecture on the management of early stage non-small cell lung cancer and how targeted therapies and personalized medicine are changing the face of lung cancer.

The Group Room at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference was made possible, in part, by:

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Selma Schimmel, Founder & CEO, Vital Options International:

This is Selma Schimmel at the Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress 2011 in Stockholm. Professor Doctor Thierry Le Chevalier, thank you for joining us. And I want to talk to you about your teaching lecture and perhaps some of the information that you can share with European cancer patients about lung cancer.

Prof. Thierry Le Chevalier, MD, Head, Dept. of Medicine Institute Gustave Roussy, France:

I taught focused on management of early stage non-small cell lung cancer. This, the patient that we cure so it’s probably the measure issue in that cancer if I don’t speak about prevention, and once the diagnosis is done the patient is here. The best chance to cure the patient is to have an early diagnosis. That the place where advanced treatments may increase and we have shown in the last years that adjuvant chemotherapy was active in most cases. The problem is to try to personalize this treatment that’s what was the main topic of my presentation. How can we enrich our population, how can we improve our treatments in better deciding which type of chemotherapy or adding targeted agents, and that’s the big part of discussion of this meeting. Personalized treatments, mostly mean biological personalized treatments, and most of the important papers offered in this meeting has been focusing on that.

Selma Schimmel:

And when you mention before, this multidisciplinary – all these different oncologic cancer specialists or specialists coming together, lung cancer is such a perfect example of how all of these modalities work together because that’s a disease that requires each one of these modalities.

Prof. Thierry Le Chevalier:

And surgery of thoracic malignancies is one of the most sophisticated types of surgery. Radiation with lungs, which are moving is probably the most difficult type of targeted radiation that we do, and we are multitude of different lung cancers – according to gender, according to smoking habits, according to many other characteristics.

Selma Schimmel:

Professor, what are we learning more and more about gender the biological difference in men and women?

Prof. Thierry Le Chevalier:

We cannot explain easily. We think that there are some hypothesis that suggest that between the estrogens and development of cancer. There might be some differences in and what not.  There’s one American study showing that in women taking hormone replacement et cetera there was an excess of lung cancer. So maybe there is something, but in fact we don’t know why there is the development of cancer so much at risk in women than in men. We don’t know.

Selma Schimmel:

What is the message that you really want European cancer patients and also patients in France to hear from you?

Prof. Thierry Le Chevalier:

I will speak about tobacco cessation, which is obvious. I think that we are at a step in our improvement in our research, we are finding a lot of targets. We are getting a lot of new drugs, the problem will be that all this will have to be included in the therapeutic strategy as early as possible because the priority must not be to prolong life by one month, which is good for registration for advanced disease but to cure more patients. And for that we have to integrate these drugs as soon as possible.

Selma Schimmel:

And the research that’s currently happening throughout Europe, are these collaborative studies across cancer centers and researchers?

Prof. Thierry Le Chevalier:

We have. We have several. The risk with most of the collaborative studies is to ask very simple questions. And what we are speaking about is sophisticated strategy in highly specialized centers where the optimal surgery may be done where the optimal radiation may be delivered. And this is not everywhere in Europe so you have some difficulties at getting large studies that just confirm some concepts like adjuvant chemotherapy by itself and then the sophisticated centers where you really cure more patients.

Selma Schimmel:

And I imagine that you have new challenges because it’s difficult enough to help patients understand what is chemotherapy, what are those therapies, and now you have to introduce this whole new area of therapy dealing with targeted therapies and the biology of cancer. So you as clinicians you have challenges to be able to communicate this in a way that patients can understand.

Prof. Thierry Le Chevalier:

What you are speaking is what people in good health think. I think that once you are in the disease it is pretty different, and you don’t ask all these questions. The family ask these questions, patients, not. They just want one thing – to live, and if possible to be cured. Doesn’t want to hear about why. It just looks at the result. So yes, and no. People, when they are in good condition are very excited by all that but the patients, not so much.

Selma Schimmel:

So the last message for our lung cancer patients is that it’s a disease that we’re really seeing serious advances like we have not seen before.

Prof. Thierry Le Chevealier:

Oh sure. Sure.

Selma Schimmel:

It’s a very exciting time to be a medical oncologist.

Prof. Thierry Le Chevealier:

Exactly. Very.

Selma Schimmel:

Thank you so much for spending time with us.

Prof. Thierry Le Chevealier:

Thanks to you.

Selma Schimmel:

I hope to see you in Paris.

Prof. Thierry Le Chevealier:

Wait for you.

END OF VIDEO

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