Lung cancer kills more people in the United States than any other cancer. According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), 210,828 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012. Of that number, the CDC reports that 111,395 cases were men while women made up 99,433. The number of deaths from lung cancer for that same year were 157,423, with 86,689 cases being men and 70,734 cases being women.

News reports are that the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has been reviewing whether to expand the use of a lung cancer drug. The drug Xalkori, would be used for patients who have developed non-small cell lung cancer and have a specific gene mutation, ROS1.

Lung cancer cases can be broken down into two types of cases, small cell and non-small cell. The American Lung Cancer Society explains that about 85% of all lung cancer cases are non-small cell cases. Small cell lung cancer makes up about 10-15% of all lung cancer cases. What makes small cell lung cancer problematic is the fact that it spreads throughout the body quickly.

The gene mutation ROS1 is responsible for roughly 1 percent of non-small cell lung cancer patients. When Xalkori was originally approved by the FDA back in 2011 it was used to target the gene mutation anaplastic lymphoma kinase (“ALK”), a mutation which is responsible for about 4% of all non-small cell lung cancer cases.

Under Maryland law lung cancer misdiagnosis claims are interesting. The reason being is that the type of cancer plays an important role in the case’s success. For example, your attorney will have to be able to show that had the cancer been diagnosed earlier that you would have had a good chance of essentially beating the cancer. So for cases like small cell lung cancer it can be a challenge to show that the patient would have had a good outcome due to how fast this type of cancer spreads throughout the body.

The supporting article for this post can be found HERE.


Marcus Boston is a Maryland medical malpractice attorney who helps people navigate the Maryland childbirth injury and medical malpractice process to get money for their injuries caused by the carelessness of doctors and hospitals.