Management of Indolent vs Aggressive Progression

JanineT GRACE Community Outreach
GRACE Community Outreach Team


I want to share this video, Cancer Growth Rate and Managing Slow-Growing Lung Cancers.  A lot has changed in treatment and management in the last 8 years but here's one thing that still needs to be considered. 

When someone's cancer progresses how aggressively should its management be?  Often it depends on how relatively fast or slow or how widespread the progression is. 


When cancer is metastatic you can think of treatment as a marathon.  You want to use as little for as long as possible.  Terms like oligoprogression have come into fashion when thinking of how to make a treatment last longer.  For example, someone with an EGFR mutation progresses on tagrisso may be able to kill the resistant cells with radiation then continue on tagrisso as before.  


Someone whose cancer progresses only slightly may take a "watch and wait" approach.  For example, don't change a treatment that is otherwise working and manageable, and see what the scans show in 3 months.  It might be that nothing much changes. 


Of course, with everything cancer, it depends on the individual.  Everyone's cancer is different, some "typically" aggressive cancers are indolent and vis verse.  Anything can happen.  This might to the occasion to see your 2nd opinion onc and get another head in the game. 


Take care,


I joined GRACE as a caregiver for my husband who had a Pancoast tumor, NSCLC stage III in 2009. He had curative chemo/rads then it was believed he had a recurrence in the spine/oligometastasis that was radiated. He's 10 years out from treatment.