No Longer Relying on Chemotherapy, Can Lung Cancer Treatment Use Tablets? – Chemotherapy is often one of the top choices when it comes to treating and curing cancer. With chemotherapy, it can help kill and remove cancer cells in the body.

It is undeniable that chemotherapy has various side effects that will directly affect the body. However, currently for lung cancer patients there is a new option to carry out the treatment process without chemotherapy, namely targeted therapy.

Chair of the PDPI Foreign Relations Division, Dr. Sita Laksmi Andarini PhD, SpP (K). said, targeted therapy is a method of treating lung cancer patients with tablets. Later the patient will take the tablets given to cure the cancer in his body.

Lung Cancer (
Lung Cancer (

“Now there is no need for chemotherapy, around 55 percent of people can now take treatment with tablet-targeted therapy,” said Dr. Sita in a media gathering commemorating World No Tobacco Day, Wednesday (31/5/2023).

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However, for this targeted therapy, the tablets are not given randomly. Based on Dr. Sita’s explanation, this type of lung cancer is small cell lung cancer (SCLC) or small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Later the patient will be examined first to find out the type of cancer he is experiencing so that he can be adjusted to the drug. Meanwhile, about 80 percent of lung cancer is a NSCLC condition. In this type of NSCLC, 40 percent have mutations in the epidermal growth receptor (EGFR) to inhibit tyrosine kinase,

Not only that, this targeted therapy will help inhibit the spread of cancer cells in the body. With targeted therapy also does not have side effects like chemotherapy. The reason is, chemotherapy makes hair cells fall out, nausea, vomiting, and others.

“If chemotherapy kills cancer cells and healthy cells, the side effects include hair loss, infection, easy bleeding, nausea, vomiting. Usually infused can be one-day care, meaning you don’t need to be treated,” said Dr. Sita.

In Indonesia, this targeted therapy method will be applied as an option for lung cancer patients. One of the drugs used to treat lung cancer is Erlotinib, which is made by PT Kalbe Farma.

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President Director of PT Global Onkolab Farma Selvinna hopes that with this drug, people can take medication without side effects such as chemotherapy. In addition, the country also does not need to import so that the medical system in Indonesia is getting better.

“We really want the drug to be independent, no need to import it. So because we are the only ones who have the facilities, we will support the government by making the tablet medicine,” said Selvinna.

Meanwhile, the lung cancer rate is still very high. This figure is also at risk of continuing to increase as the number of smokers is still high. In the last 10 years there has been an increase in the number of adult smokers, from 60.3 million in 2011 to 69.1 million in 2021.

Lung cancer in Indonesia is also at risk of occurring at a young age compared to adults; This was triggered because the number of smokers is still high.

“The age of lung cancer in Indonesia is younger. Yes, it is true. If we look at data abroad, lung cancer is 68 years old. Data in Indonesia is 10 years younger, the median middle age of cancer patients is 58 years,” concluded Dr. Sita.

Source: – Berita Kesehatan Terkini by

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