A New Age of Hope in Lung Cancer Treatment

Immunotherapy and Targeted Agents Show Promise for Many Lung Cancer Patients

Dr. Gilberto Lopes is a medical oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth, University of Miami Health System. If you have further questions about lung cancer treatment at Sylvester, or to schedule an appointment, call 305-243-1000.

Traci Sherman was referred to an ophthalmologist when she started seeing black dots earlier this year, mistakenly thinking it was a torn retina or some other problem with the anatomy of her eye. She soon learned the spots were the result of cancerous lesions on her brain. Those lesions, as well as additional tumors in her lymph and pelvic bone, were caused by cancer originating in her lungs.

“It was a shock,” says Traci, who at the age of 52, felt healthy and strong and had no symptoms outside of the slight impairment of her vision. In the weeks following her diagnosis of Stage 4 metastatic lung cancer, Traci initiated treatment under the care of Dr. Gilberto Lopes, a medical oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of University of Miami Health System.

“Traci is the new face of lung cancer,” says Dr. Lopes, who is among the top lung cancer researchers in the world. While the disease historically affected mostly white male smokers, increasing numbers of women, non-smokers and people of color are joining the ranks of those fighting the disease. Although Dr. Lopes says it’s impossible to know exactly what causes an individual’s lung cancer, second hand smoke and exposure to a radioactive gas called radon might be contributors.

While lung cancer remains the largest cancer killer, there is positive news to share. New developments in screening and treatment of the disease have led to improved outcomes for many patients. “This is a brave new world,” says Dr. Lopes. 


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