Dr. Kawecki: From September 2023, we can modernly treat patients with esophageal and stomach cancer

Dr. Kawecki: From September 2023, we can modernly treat patients with esophageal and stomach cancer

Since September, there have been major changes in the drug program for stomach and esophageal cancer. They adapt our practice to European recommendations. We have the option of using immunotherapy in some patients: it greatly changes their prognosis, says Dr. Maciej Kawecki, an oncologist from the National Institute of Oncology.

From September 1, the treatment program for esophageal and stomach cancer has changed: new possibilities of using immunotherapy for some patients have appeared. – So far, immunotherapy has been a breakthrough when it comes to melanoma, kidney cancer, and lung cancer. For many years, the possibilities of using immunotherapy in digestive system cancers were limited. However, we have learned to identify groups that benefit most from the use of immunotherapy – noted Dr. Maciej Kawecki from the National Institute of Oncology during the Visionaries of Health 2023 conference.

From September 2023, for patients in whom specific biomarkers are detected, a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy may be offered (this applies to both esophageal and stomach cancer). – In esophageal cancer, we have been given the opportunity to use double immunotherapy in patients for whom chemotherapy is not possible. More importantly, we also have the opportunity to use immunotherapy in radical treatment: in the case of esophageal cancer, there is a group of patients who, after radiotherapy and tumor resection, benefit from the so-called adjuvant treatment. – These changes since September are very significant, they change our practice and adapt our practice to the recommendations – emphasized Dr. Kawecki.

Esophageal cancer and stomach cancer are two cancers with an unfavorable prognosis: early detection and treatment in specialized centers are very important.

However, there are no such centers in Poland. – There is a need to create such centers, as has already been done in the case of colorectal cancer. Treatment in this type of centers also improves patient prognosis, noted Dr. Kawecki.

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