University of Kentucky Cancer Screening Helps Prevent Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer pic
Lung Cancer
Image: ukhealthcare.uky.edu

A pharmaceutical sciences PhD student at the University of Kentucky (UK), Sherif El-Refai is a translational researcher focused on immuno-oncology in lung cancer at the university’s Markey Cancer Center. To compliment his oncology pharmaceutical practice, Sherif El-Refai conducts research on lung cancer treatment, prevention, and diagnosis.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Every year, it kills more people than colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer combined. The best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking. For those who smoke regularly, lung cancer screening is recommended to detect the cancer early and to reduce the risk of lung cancer death.

UK’s lung cancer screening program was designed for persons at risk of developing lung cancer. These include seniors older than 55, people who smoke or have recently quit smoking, and people who have been smoking a pack or more fa day or over 30 years. The screening uses a computed tomography scan to reveal suspicious cancerous spots in the lungs. Patients diagnosed with the cancer are referred to the university’s Markey Cancer Center, where a multidisciplinary team of medical care givers will commence treatment.

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Study Shows Levels of Depression Can Influence Lung Cancer Outcomes

lung cancer
lung cancer

 

Dedicating his nearly 10-year career to the study and elimination of cancer, particularly lung cancer, Markey Cancer Center oncology pharmacist Sherif El-Refai conducts extensive research to assist in the development of successful medical care. Based in Lexington, Kentucky, Sherif El-Refai gained experience as a researcher at the laboratory of the University of Kansas College of Pharmacy.

According to a recent study conducted in the United States, as reported by Reuters Health, worsening depression symptoms are linked to a lower chance of survival for patients with lung cancer, especially so if in the early stages. The study found that when depression symptoms lifted, the chance for survival increased.

Lead author Donald R. Sullivan, a professor at Oregon Health and Science University, shared in the article via email that while this study does not prove causation, it does show the importance of not only treating the physical cancer, but to also screening for signs of depression in patients and treating depression as a means to help improve outcomes. Quality of life is impacted by the overall well-being of patients, which involves, among many other factors, their levels of depression.

Different Subsets of Lung Cancer Respond to Different Treatments

Markey Cancer Center  pic
Markey Cancer Center
Image: ukhealthcare.uky.edu

Holding several advanced degrees in the area of pharmaceutical sciences, Sherif El-Refai has devoted nearly 10 years of study to the eradication of cancer. In addition to serving in the University of Kansas College of Pharmacy Black Lab, where he conducts lung cancer research to assist in developing more efficient treatments, Sherif El-Refai serves the Markey Cancer Center in the position of oncology pharmacist.

In the study of lung cancer, several subsets of the disease exist. Researchers say that because of the existence of these multiple subsets, the approach to treating the disease should vary for each patient based on which subset their cancer falls into.

Such findings came about as a result of a study recently published in the science journal Oncogene.

According to a press release, a group of University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center scientists examined data from more than 1,000 non-small-cell lung cancers, provided by the Cancer Genome Atlas, and organized them into specific classifications.

Senior author Chad Creighton shared that the different cancer subsets may respond differently to the same treatment. By knowing the makeup of each subset and how they react to each type of therapy, the research will aid in improving patient outcomes.