Challenges in Facing the Lung Cancer Epidemic and Treating Advanced Disease in Latin America

Luis E. Raez, Edgardo S. Santos, Christian Rolfo, Gilberto Lopes, Carlos Barrios, Andres Cardona, Luis A. Mas, Oscar Arrieta, Eduardo Richardet, Carlos Vallejos S, Ignacio Wistuba, David Gandara, Fred R. Hirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Latin America will soon be facing a lung cancer epidemic. The region is not prepared to deal with the amount of patients and the resources needed to give the patients proper state of the art molecular diagnosis and access to targeted therapies. In this paper, we review the current management of lung cancer in Latin America from the clinician's perspective. Lung cancer, the deadliest cancer worldwide, is of particular concern in Latin America. The rising incidence poses a myriad of challenges for the region, which struggles with limited resources to meet the health care needs of its low- and middle-income populations. In this environment, we are concerned that governments are relatively unaware of the pressing need to implement effective strategies for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of lung cancer. The region has also been slow in adopting molecularly-based therapies in the treatment of advanced disease: testing for epidermal growth factor receptor mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangements are not routine, and access to targeted agents such as monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors is problematic. In this paper, we review the current situation in the management of lung cancer in Latin America, hoping that this initiative will help physicians, patient associations, industry, governments, and other stakeholders better face this epidemic in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e71-e79
JournalClinical lung cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • ALK
  • EGFR
  • Molecular markers
  • Screening
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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