ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Between 80% and 85% of all lung cancer cases are considered to be non-small cell cancer, according to Harvard Medical School. There is a new treatment on the horizon that could improve outcomes, as NEWS10’s Christina Arangio found out when she talked to Dr. Hossein Borghaei.

The treatment is specifically for lung cancer patients with non-small cell cancer with the Kirsten rat sarcoma (KRAS) mutation. The FDA is currently completing its review of the treatment, said Dr. Borghaei, a thoracic medical oncologist in Philadelphia.

Lung cancer risk factors

  • Smoking
  • Secondhand or passive smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Air pollution
  • Occupational exposures
  • Genetics

Source: Research from the Mayo Clinic

Symptoms

  • Cough that persists and worsens over time
  • Persistent chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Recurring pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Swelling of the neck or face
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

Source: Harvard Medical School

The KRAS mutation is more likely to occur in people of Western European descent and current or former smokers, but it’s not definite. Approximately 20% to 25% of lung cancer cases have some kind of KRAS mutation, according to the American Lung Association.

A KRAS mutation is an error in a normal cell protein. The mutation causes abnormal cell growth, which leads to cancer. The American Lung Association said a KRAS mutation can be found through comprehensive next-generation sequencing using tumor tissue obtained by a biopsy and a liquid biopsy.

Up to date information on the latest research in lung cancer and lung cancer treatment can be found on the Lung Cancer Foundation of America’s website.