There is a new pill called Iressa for advanced lung cancer patients that can be a replacement for chemotherapy. The drug has less negative side effects even though it is more expensive. It works by attacking specific growth receptors on cancer cells and is less harmful. The drug costs thousands of dollars each month.
Iressa is currently available in the United States, but it is not licensed in Europe. It is also approved for use in patients that failed chemotherapy. The common side effects are rash, acne, and diarrhea. Cancer patients have shown to live nearly as long on the drug as with chemotherapy.