It is estimated that 450,000 people in the United States will die of lung cancer and other tobacco-related disorders this year. The relationship between smoking and lung cancer is inarguable. It is strongly believed that changes in population behavior could in time almost eliminate this disease, and efforts to bring about such changes remain a challenge for those involved with public policy.
In contrast to efforts in breast cancer prevention, which have demonstrated that antiestrogens are effective in reducing the risk of disease development in high-risk women, attempts to identify pharmacologic interventions effective in secondary prevention of lung cancer have thus far met with little success. There remains, however, a strong interest in this area, and a number of novel agents are currently being tested in clinical trials.
The combined-modality treatment approach has resulted in modest gains in the survival of lung cancer patients. Specifically in locally advanced disease, neoadjuvant systemic therapy followed by local therapies, including surgery and radiation therapy, has had a favorable impact on disease-free and overall survival. The availability of novel cytotoxic agents and drugs with substantial antitumor activity as well as target-specific biologics has the potential to further favorably alter the prognosis of lung cancer patients.
This volume reflects MD Anderson Cancer Center’s commitment to the multidisciplinary disease-oriented approach—an approach that has evolved here over a number of years and is contributing to the progress in patient outcomes. We would like to thank the volume editors—Dr. Frank V. Fossella, Dr. Ritsuko Komaki, and Dr. Joe B. Putnam, Jr.—for their significant efforts in putting this book together. This volume is a tribute to their continued dedication, as well as that of the faculty in their departments, to a resolution of the lung cancer problem. We would also like to thank the Department of Scientific Publications for their assistance with this volume, especially Walter Pagel for helping develop the series, Stephanie Deming for editing the manuscript, and Leigh Fink for editorial assistance, including help with permissions and illustrations.
Aman U. Buzdar, M.D., and Ralph S. Freedman, M.D., Ph.D.
© 2002 Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. All rights reserved. ISBN 0-387-95507-0.