How big a problem is lung cancer?
One in five people with lung cancer have small cell lung cancer and only three per cent of these people are expected to survive for five years. With this form of lung cancer, tumours spread quickly. Small cell lung cancer is treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Initially, the treatment often appears to work. But the tumours usually grow back rapidly and then become resistant to further treatment.
What does the new drug do?
The researchers have identified a drug that, in some mice, was able to shrink tumours completely. If the drug proves successful in humans, they hope it could help patients with this kind of lung cancer to live longer.
The in-house team at Imperial College sent out the press release to the national press and handled enquiries.
The story made the front page of the Daily Express and was covered in The Daily Telegraph with the headline: 'Pill may cure lung cancer that kills 97pc of victims'. The BBC also ran the story as the lead on its health news site.
- 80% of lung cancer cases occur in people aged 60 and over
- 7% of patients survive for at least five years after diagnosis.