Everyday summaries of scientific articles improve accessibility to the latest medical developments, including cancer treatments.
Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer for both men and women in the UK, taking nearly 35,000 lives each year. That’s why patients, practitioners, and wider medical organisations – including Future Science Group – come together each November to promote Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The annual campaign encourages organisations and individuals to spread the word about cancer symptoms. This way, people can spot the signs early and get in touch with their GPs. The earlier a lung cancer patient starts treatment, the better their chances of survival.
Many organisations also spotlight the experiences of lung cancer patients and their families. This case-study-like approach explores the support that patients have access to and helps the public understand what living with lung cancer can look like.
Raising Awareness of Lung Cancer Symptoms
Detecting the signs of lung cancer and acting early makes it much easier to treat the disease. During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, organisations raise awareness of lung cancer symptoms and encourage anyone who experiences these to speak to a doctor.
Symptoms of lung cancer:
- A persistent cough
- Reoccurring chest infections
- Coughing up blood
- Pain when coughing or breathing
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Loss of appetite or sudden weight loss.
Many people don’t realise the severity of these symptoms and don’t get them checked out until it’s too late. That’s why Future Science Group publishes accessible resources that help people access and understand key scientific and medical information. The progressive publisher dedicates itself to creating clear resources for both its professional audiences and lay audiences so that all readers can grasp scientific concepts. This is especially vital for patients who need to make informed decisions about how to progress with their care plans and treatment decisions.
Future Science Group’s Plain Language Summaries
To improve access to easy-to-read resources, Future Science Group publishes plain language summaries (PLS) of technical publications as standalone journal articles. Scientific and medical authors base these summaries on complex, industry-specific content and write them for lay audiences. This means that readers don’t need to read the original article before they read the PLS version. This way, patients and other non-specialist readers can understand complicated scientific matters that are otherwise usually only explained in scholarly publications.
Over the past few months, Future Science Group has published three PLS that delve into new studies that examine the efficacy of new non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatments. Given that patients who have NSCLC have few treatment options, this area of study is essential to cancer research. The three PLS break down the complexities of each study for patients, their caregivers, and general health professionals.
A Plain Language Summary on the CROWN Study
In September 2021, Future Oncology published a PLS of the CROWN study, which compared two treatments for people who have NSCLC. In this case, the same authors who wrote the original article also wrote the PLS. The summary explains that the CROWN research study (or clinical trial) tested two medicines – lorlatinib and crizotinib – on individuals who had untreated NSCLC that had spread to other parts of the body.
296 participants from 23 countries took part in the study, and each participant had changes in a gene called ALK. Half of the participants took the lorlatinib treatment and half took the crizotinib treatment. They were then monitored to check whether their tumours had grown or spread to other parts of the body and to manage any side effects. The study concluded that, after one year of treatment, those who took lorlatinib were twice as likely to be alive with no tumour growth than those who took crizotinib. 75% of participants who took lorlatinib found that their cancer had lessened. This was only the case in 58% of participants who took crizotinib. These statistics also applied to participants whose cancer had spread to the brain.
A Plain Language Summary on the GioTag Study
Future Oncology also published a PLS on the GioTag study In June 2021. This study examined how two drugs (afatinib and osimertinib) affected 204 NSCLC patients who had mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene. The participants had all received the afatinib treatment but had then developed a resistance mutation in the EGFR gene. This meant that the afatinib treatment no longer worked for these patients. So, they started taking the osimertinib treatment instead.
The study concluded that taking the two treatments one after the other was effective in patients who had become resistant to the initial afatinib treatment. The median overall time that patients spent on the treatments was 27.7 months, and the median overall survival was 37.6 months.
A Plain Language Summary on the ADAURA Study
Most recently, in November 2021, Future Oncology also published a PLS on the ADAURA study. This clinical trial monitored the efficacy of the osimertinib treatment in patients who have NSCLC and the change in the EGFR gene mentioned above. The treatment has already been approved for use based on previous clinical trials, but this study tested the effectiveness of the drug in patients who had already had tumours removed by surgery.
Participants took either the osimertinib treatment or a placebo drug after their surgery. The study concluded that the patients who took the osimertinib treatment have stayed cancer-free for longer than the patients who took the dummy treatment, regardless of whether they have also undertaken chemotherapy after surgery. The osimertinib treatment also lowered the risk of tumours spreading to the brain and spinal cord. As a result, osimertinib has now been approved to treat resectable EGFR-mutated NSCLC after tumour removal. The study is still ongoing.
About Future Science Group
Future Science Group is home to 34 peer-reviewed, open-access journals. Each offers a wealth of information and updates in scientific communities and sectors. Whether users are researching oncology, regenerative medicine, nanomedicine, or virtually any other scientific discipline, Future Science Group’s journals publish high standards of scientific and medical content for professionals of all levels. More than 1,000 members work on the group’s editorial board to ensure the highest standards across the journals, which so far contain over 50,000 articles. Readers can also make the most of the publishing group’s digital hubs and online communities, where they can participate in industry conversations that support scientific advancements.