Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New drug for non-small cell lung cancer shows efficacy

22.10.2003


Shrinks tumors in some patients and reduces symptoms in others



A new anti-cancer agent designed to block the signals responsible for telling cancer cells to grow has shown promising results for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. The results of a double blind, randomized trial of the compound, gefinitib (Iressa), led by Dr. Mark Kris, chief of thoracic oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, are published in the October 22 Journal of the American Medical Association. A subset of the data from this clinical trial formed the basis for approval of the drug by the Food and Drug Administration on May 5, 2003.

"This compound is the first new way to treat lung cancer in decades, and this is good news," said Dr. Kris, lead investigator of the multi-center trial. "It is what all people trying to fight cancer want; a pill that specifically attacks the cancer yet does little to adversely effect the person."


Gefinitib is a "designer" drug that targets and blocks an enzyme called tyrosine kinase, part of the epidermal growth factor receptor. Found on the cell surface, the epidermal growth factor receptor is over-expressed in many non-small cell lung cancers. When the epidermal growth factor response is activated, it signals tumor cells to proliferate and grow. When the signal is disrupted, the tumors regress and apoptosis or cell death occurs.

A double-blind, randomized phase II clinical trial of gefinitib was conducted at thirty academic and community oncology centers in the United States. Participating were 221 patients who had either stage IIIB or IV non-small cell lung cancer for which they had received at least two prior chemotherapy regimens. The drug, taken in pill form, was taken daily in doses of either 500 mg (administered as two 250 mg gefinitib tablets) or 250 mg (administered as one 250 mg gefinitib tablet and a matching placebo). Of the 221 patients enrolled, 216 received the randomized doses.

An improvement of their symptoms that included shortness of breath, cough, loss of appetite, tightness in the chest, and weight loss was seen in 43 percent of the patients receiving the 250 mg dose and 35 percent of patients receiving the 500 mg dose reported. This improvement was seen within three weeks for 73 percent of the patients who responded. Partial responses were observed radiographically in 12 per cent of the patients receiving the 250 mg dose and 9 percent of patients on the 500 mg dose. Symptoms improved in 96 percent of the patients with partial radiographic responses. The overall survival at one year was 25 percent. There was no significant difference between the 250 mg and 500 mg doses in rates of symptom improvement, radiographic tumor regression and projected 1-year survival.

For all patients, the drug was well tolerated with few toxic side effects. These consisted mainly of mild diarrhea and an acne-like skin rash and the effects were seen more frequently in patients receiving the 500 mg doses. All side effects were reversible when drug use was stopped. The Food and Drug Administration approved the 250 mg. dose of gefinitib for treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

"For patients with metastatic lung cancer who have no other options, lessening their symptoms without adding burdensome side effects is a very real benefit," said Dr. Kris. "It gives hope that with more research and improved targets, we will do even better."

This study was conducted by Memorial Sloan-Kettering; Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Massachusetts General Cancer Center; UCLA Medical Center; University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; University of Wisconsin Hospital - Madison; University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; Hematology-Oncology Consultants, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio; Vanderbilt University; Loyola University Medical Center; and Northwestern University. The study was sponsored by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, developer of the study drug.


Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is the world’s oldest and largest institution devoted to prevention, patient care, research and education in cancer. Our scientists and clinicians generate innovative approaches to better understand, diagnose and treat cancer. Our specialists are leaders in biomedical research and in translating the latest research to advance the standard of cancer care worldwide. For more information, go to www.mskcc.org.

Joanne Nicholas | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mskcc.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>