Lung Cancer

Know your options

Everyone reacts and copes differently following a lung cancer diagnosis. Each individual has to come to terms with a new reality and a large degree of uncertainty about many of the things that matter most in life.

Getting the facts about your diagnosis and available treatments will help you make the best decisions based on your situation.

Roche offer several medications for lung cancer that have shown effective results in clinical trials. One of them may be a suitable treatment option for you.

Types of lung cancer

There are several types of lung cancer and the type you have will determine which treatment is most appropriate for you. 

Lung cancer is broadly classified as either:

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which is the most common type of lung cancer (about 85% of all cases)

Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), which makes up around 15% of all cases.

Other types of NSCLC

As researchers have learned more about NSCLC, they have discovered factors within the body that cause or even increase the speed at which lung cancer cells grow.

Epidermal growth factor receptor positive (EGFR+) NSCLC

EGFR is a protein that normally helps cells control how they grow and divide. In some NSCLC cells the EGFR protein is changed and continuously turned on. This causes the cancer cells to develop in an uncontrolled way.  

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive (ALK+) NSCLC

About 5% of NSCLCs have a rearrangement in the ALK gene. The ALK gene rearrangement produces an abnormal ALK protein that causes the cells to grow and spread.

Have you been tested for EGFR and ALK?

To establish if you have an EGFR or ALK mutation causing your lung cancer, your doctor needs to request a special type of test for you that involves analysing a sample of your tumour tissue. This will determine whether a targeted therapy is likely to be suitable for your cancer type. If you’re not sure if you’ve had one of these tests, talk to your doctor who will be able to advise you.

Roche lung cancer treatments available in New Zealand

Tecentriq®
(atezolizumab)

An immunotherapy for the treatment of advanced or metastatic NSCLC and extensive-stage SCLC. Tecentriq works with your body’s own immune system to fight the cancer cells.

Alecensa®
(alectinib)

A targeted therapy for the treatment of ALK+ NSCLC which works by blocking the activity of the ALK rearranged protein.

Tarceva®
(erlotinib)

A targeted therapy for the treatment of EGFR+ NSCLC. which works by blocking the signal from EGFR that tells the cells to grow.