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Docetaxel Plus Ramucirumab Improves Outcomes in Advanced NSCLC

Docetaxel Plus Ramucirumab Improves Outcomes in Advanced NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The addition of ramucirumab to docetaxel improved outcomes over placebo with docetaxel as a second-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to results of the REVEL trial presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.


“ 'Despite advancements in genomics and identification of predictive biomarkers such as EGFR mutations or ALK rearrangement, there is still no… targeted therapy for the majority of patients with squamous and non-squamous carcinoma,' said Maurice Pérol, MD, of the Cancer Research Center of Lyon in France. Ramucirumab specifically targets VEGFR-2 and inhibits angiogenesis, and it has been shown to improve outcomes in gastric cancer as monotherapy."


Editor's note: This article describes a treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that combines a new targeted drug called ramucirumab with the standard chemotherapy drug docetaxel. In a clinical trial to test the treatment in volunteer patients who had already received one previous treatment, it was found that ramucirumab plus docetaxel provided better patient outcomes than docetaxel plus a placebo.

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Cancer Network  |  Jun 19, 2014

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ASCO: Zykadia Works Before or After Targeted Lung Ca Tx

ASCO: Zykadia Works Before or After Targeted Lung Ca Tx | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Ceritinib (Zykadia) produced good response in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) overexpressing ALK, regardless of prior treatment for that target, an early phase trial showed.


Ceritinib was associated with an overall response rate of 55% in patients previously treated with crizotinib (Xalkori) and 66% in those naive to that ALK inhibitor, Dong-Wan Kim, MD, of the Seoul National University Hospital, and colleagues found.

Editor's note: This article is about a drug called ceritinib (brand name Zykadia), which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Dug Administration (FDA), allowing doctors in the U.S. to prescribe it to patients who 1) have advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 2) have tumor cells with mutations in the ALK gene, as detected by molecular testing, and 3) have tried treatment with crizotinib (Xalkori) but experienced worsening of their cancer. According to the new research described in this article, ceritinib may actually be beneficial whether or not the patient was previously treated with crizotinib.
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MedPage Today  |  Jun 3, 2014

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ARIAD Presents Updated Phase 1/2 Data on AP26113 in Patients with ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

ARIAD Presents Updated Phase 1/2 Data on AP26113 in Patients with ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced updated clinical results on its investigational tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), AP26113, in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from an ongoing Phase 1/2 trial. These study results show anti-tumor activity of AP26113 in patients with crizotinib-resistant anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive NSCLC, including patients with brain metastases. Crizotinib is approved for ALK-positive NSCLC patients."


Editor's note: This story is about a targeted drug called AP26113, which may benefit some patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Specifically, it has shown promise for those patients whose tumors have mutations in the ALK gene, as detected by molecular testing, and who have already been treated with the drug crizotinib (Xalkori) but have grown resistant to it.

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MarketWatch  |  May 31, 2014

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FDA Approves Ceritinib (Zykadia) for Metastatic Lung Cancer

FDA Approves Ceritinib (Zykadia) for Metastatic Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Earlier today the US Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to ceritinib (Zykadia) for the treatment of patients with metastatic ALK-positive non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). About 2% to 7% percent of NSCLC patients have ALK-positive disease.


"The new drug, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, was approved 4 months early under the FDA's accelerated approval program and is intended for the treatment of patients who previously received the ALK-inhibitor crizotinib."


Editor's note: FDA approval means that doctors can now begin prescribing ceritinib treat patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have mutations in the ALK gene, as detected by molecular testing. We previously posted about ceritinib here.

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Cancer Network  |  Apr 29, 2014

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New Drug Successfully Treats Crizotinib-Resistant, ALK-Positive Lung Cancer

New Drug Successfully Treats Crizotinib-Resistant, ALK-Positive Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Although the targeted cancer treatment drug crizotinib is very effective in causing rapid regression of a particular form of lung cancer, patients' tumors inevitably become resistant to the drug. Now a new drug called ceritinib appears to be effective against advanced ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), both in tumors that have become resistant to crizotinib and in those never treated with the older drug. The results of a phase 1 clinical trial conducted at centers in 11 countries are reported in the March 27 New England Journal of Medicine."


Editor's note: Crizotinib and ceritinib are meant to treat patients whose tumors have mutations in the ALK gene, as detected by molecular testing.

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Medical Xpress  |  Mar 26, 2014

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Discovery to Help Predict Who Will Benefit from Lung Cancer Treatment

Discovery to Help Predict Who Will Benefit from Lung Cancer Treatment | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered the structure of an abnormal protein which causes an aggressive type of lung cancer, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science today (Monday).


"Unveiling the structure of this protein – formed by a genetic fault – could enable doctors to predict who will benefit from a specific lung cancer treatment, while saving other patients from receiving it unnecessarily.


"Researchers were looking at a form of the disease – known as ALK lung cancers – which account for around four per cent of cases."


Editor's note: Oncologists already use some abnormal proteins to help guide treatment decisions. Learn more about it.

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Cancer Research UK  |  Mar 24, 2014

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Crizotinib Beyond Progressive Disease Improved Survival in ALK-Positive NSCLC

Crizotinib Beyond Progressive Disease Improved Survival in ALK-Positive NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Patients with ALK-positive, advanced non–small cell lung cancer who received crizotinib beyond progressive disease demonstrated longer OS than patients who did not continue treatment, according to results of a retrospective study.


"The analysis included 194 patients treated with crizotinib (Xalkori, Pfizer) who experienced progressive disease defined by RECIST criteria. Of them, 120 (62%) demonstrated ongoing clinical benefit and continued treatment with crizotinib for more than 3 weeks."

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Healio  |  Feb 27, 2014

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Novel Assay Developed for Detecting ALK Rearragement in NSCLC

Novel Assay Developed for Detecting ALK Rearragement in NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Researchers have developed a novel technique for detecting ALK rearrangements in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) that is more sensitive and easier to perform than currently available techniques. The technique can help enhance the routine practice of diagnostic ALK testing on NSCLCs, which is crucial for identifying patients with advanced NSCLC who are most likely to benefit from targeted therapy with an ALK inhibitor."


Editor's Note: "Molecular tests" like the one mentioned here can be very important for patients to choose the best treatment plan. Learn more at our Lung Cancer Basics.

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Medical Xpress  |  Feb 24, 2014

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Xalkori More Effective than Chemotherapy As Second-Line Treatment in ALK+ Lung Cancer

Xalkori More Effective than Chemotherapy As Second-Line Treatment in ALK+ Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The ALK inhibitor crizotinib (Xalkori) has shown effectiveness in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have changes in the ALK gene that make the gene overactive (so-called 'ALK-positive' patients). A recent clinical trial compared Xalkori to chemotherapy as a second-line treatment in these patients. Over 300 patients with ALK-positive advanced NSCLC who had undergone one previous round of chemotherapy were treated either with Xalkori or one of the chemotherapy drugs pemetrexed (Alimta) or docetaxel (Taxotere). Tumors shrank in 65% of Xalkori-treated patients, compared to 20% of those receiving chemotherapy. The Xalkori-treated patients also went longer without their cancer worsening, experienced fewer symptoms, and reported higher quality of life.

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Medical Xpress  |  Jan 13, 2014

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Stronger Case for Targeted Therapies Against Lung Cancer

New research provides compelling evidence that targeted treatments benefit people with lung cancer. Researchers at 14 U.S. centers found that of nearly 1,000 people with lung cancers who were tested for 10 genetic abnormalities, 63% had an abnormality and 23% of these were treated with the appropriate targeted therapy. Those who received targeted treatments lived 1.5 times longer than those who did not (a median of 3.5 vs 2.4 years, respectively). People with ALK abnormalities lived longest at 4.3 years; followed by those with sensitizing EGFR mutations at 4.0 years; other EGFR mutations at 3.3 years; and KRAS mutations at 2.4 years. These findings were presented at the 2013 World Conference on Lung Cancer.

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Medscape│Oct 30, 2013

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Roche Gets Breakthrough Status for Lung Cancer Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted breakthrough therapy designation for a lung cancer treatment  called alectinib, made by Roche. The designation was based on new data presented at the European Cancer Congress (ECC).  Alectinib is reported to be effective in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with mutations in the ALK gene. Imporantly, tumor shrinkage was seen in patients whose cancer worsened on crizotinib (Xalkori), the currently approved drug for this subgroup of patents.

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Drug Discovery and Development | Sep 23, 2013

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New ALK Inhibitor Shrinks Lung Cancer in Early Trial

New ALK Inhibitor Shrinks Lung Cancer in Early Trial | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

On the strength of promising results from an ongoing clinical trial, reseachers are starting a new trial for people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has abnormal ALK genes. This update was presented at the 2013 European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The phase I/II trial included 34 people with NSCLC with ALK abnormalities who were treated with an ALK inhibitor called AP26113. Tumors shrank in nearly all of the patients, including tumors that had spread to the brain, as well as those that resisted another ALK inhibitor called crizotinib (Xalkori). The new trial will test how well AP26113 shrinks NSCLCs that both have ALK abnormalities and are resistant to crizotinib.

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ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. │Sep 28, 2013

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More Lung Cancer Patients May Benefit from Xalkori Than Previously Thought

More Lung Cancer Patients May Benefit from Xalkori Than Previously Thought | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Xalkori (crizotinib) is very effective for most non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with mutations in the ALK gene. However, new evidence suggests that current criteria for ALK mutation may be missing patients who could be treated with Xalkori. A recent study of NSCLC patients found that 8.5% had tumors that contained more than 10% cells with ALK mutations, but less than 15%, the current cut-off for 'ALK-positive' lung cancer. These patients may benefit from Xalkori or other ALK inhibitors. Moreover, some patients have atypical ALK mutations that are not detected by the standard test. A patient with such atypical ALK mutations profiled in a recent case study responded well to Xalkori treatment.

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Medical Xpress | Sep 10, 2013

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Xcovery Presents Interim Phase 1 Results of X-396 in ALK positive
NSCLC at the American Society for Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting

Xcovery Presents Interim Phase 1 Results of X-396 in ALK positive <br/>      NSCLC at the American Society for Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Xcovery , a developer of next-generation targeted therapeutics for cancer, today presented preliminary results at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) from a phase 1 study of X-396, a potent small molecule anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, that showed X-396 is well tolerated and has antitumor activity in patients with ALK positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)."


Editor's note: Scientists have developed a new targeted drug called X-396. The drug is meant to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have mutations in the ALK gene, as detected by molecular testing. A clinical trial to test the drug in volunteer patients found promising results for X-396. It appeared to benefit patients whether or not they had previously taken and grown resistant to crizotinib, another ALK-targeted drug.

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MarketWatch  |  Jun 3, 2014

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Ignyta Announces Interim Data from RXDX-101 Phase I Clinical Trial (NASDAQ:RXDX)

"Ignyta, Inc. (Nasdaq: RXDX), an oncology precision medicine biotechnology company, announced today that interim results from the first-in-human ALKA-372-001 Phase I clinical trial of RXDX-101, the company's proprietary oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting solid tumor indications, were presented in an oral presentation at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology(ASCO) in Chicago, Illinois."


Editor's note: This story is about a new drug called RXDX-101. In a clinical trial testing it in volunteer patients, it showed promise for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors had mutations in the ALK gene, and another patient with NSCLC whose tumor had a mutation in the ROS1 gene (these mutations can be detected by molecular testing).

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Ignyta  |  May 31, 2014

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Responses with Crizotinib in MET-Amplified Lung Cancer Show New Targetable Form of Disease

Responses with Crizotinib in MET-Amplified Lung Cancer Show New Targetable Form of Disease | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"In 2011, the drug crizotinib earned accelerated approval by the US FDA to target the subset of advanced non-small cell lung cancers caused by rearrangements of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene, and subsequently was granted regular approval in 2013. The drug also has shown dramatic responses in patients whose lung cancers harbored a different molecular abnormality, namely ROS1 gene rearrangements. Previously unreported phase 1 clinical trial results now show that crizotinib may have a third important molecular target. In advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients with intermediate and high amplifications of the MET gene, crizotinib produced either disease stabilization or tumor response. Sixty-seven percent of patients with high MET amplification showed prolonged response to the drug, which lasted from approximately 6 months to nearly 2.5 years."


Editor's note: Crizotinib (aka Xalkori) is a targeted therapy drug that kills cancer cells by targeting certain molecules found in the cells. It was already known that crizotinib works well for some patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose cancer cells have mutations in the ALK gene and in the ROS1 gene; such mutations, or "molecular biomarkers," are detected by a medical procedure known as "molecular testing," or "genetic testing." Now, scientists say that crizotinib may also be effective for patients with advanced NSCLC whose tumors have abnormally high activity of a protein called MET, which can also be detected via molecular testing.

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ScienceDaily  |  May 31, 2014

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Combination Therapies for Lung Cancer

Combination Therapies for Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"CANCER NETWORK: Dr. Jänne, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors are a mainstay of therapy for those advanced-stage lung cancer patients with tumors that harbor specific EGFR mutations. What have we learned in the last few years about which patients respond to which oral agents and antibodies against EGFR? "


Editor's note: While not strictly "news," this interview provides a good overview of currently available treatments for lung cancer.

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Cancer Network  |  Apr 25, 2014

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Phase III Study: Crizotinib Prolongs Progression-Free Survival in Previously Untreated ALK-Positive Advanced NSCLC

Phase III Study: Crizotinib Prolongs Progression-Free Survival in Previously Untreated ALK-Positive Advanced NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"In the phase III PROFILE 1014 study, the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor crizotinib (Xalkori) was found to significantly prolong progression-free survival in previously untreated patients with ALK-positive advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) compared with standard platinum-based chemotherapy.


"No unexpected safety issues were identified in the current study, and adverse events were consistent with the known safety profile for crizotinib. Efficacy and safety data from this study will be submitted for presentation at a future medical meeting."


Editor's note: Xalkori is a targeted therapy that is meant to treat patients whose tumors have mutations in the ALK gene, as detected by molecular testing.

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The ASCO Post  |  Mar 26, 2014

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EML4-ALK Fusion Testing, Targeted Crizotinib Treatment Not Cost-Effective in NSCLC

EML4-ALK Fusion Testing, Targeted Crizotinib Treatment Not Cost-Effective in NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"EML4-ALK fusion testing to identify patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer eligible for first-line, targeted treatment with crizotinib may not be cost-effective, according to study results.

"Researchers in Ontario used a Markov model to compare the cost-effectiveness of two treatment approaches for patients with stage IV nonsquamous NSCLC. One approach consisted of molecular screening and targeted treatment with crizotinib (Xalkori, Pfizer). The other approach consisted of standard care, which included platinum doublet (cisplatin and gemcitabine) as first-line therapy, second-line pemetrexed (Alimta, Eli Lilly) and third-line erlotinib (Tarceva; Genentech, Astellas Pharma)."


Editor's Note: Molecular testing can be used to identify genetic mutations in a patient's tumor that may point to the use of a certain treatment, personalized for him or her. This study explores the costs associated with these treatments. Of course, every patient's treatment decisions will be made for his or her own personal reasons. You can talk to your doctor to find out if molecular testing and targeted therapies are good choices for you.

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Healio  |  Mar 17, 2014

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Significant Discrepancies between FISH and IHC Results for ALK Testing

Significant Discrepancies between FISH and IHC Results for ALK Testing | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The findings of a recent study indicate that routine testing with both fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) may enhance the detection of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Accurate determination of ALK-positive tumors is necessary to identify patients with advanced NSCLC who are most likely to benefit from targeted therapy with an ALK inhibitor.


"The discovery of ALK rearrangement in about 1% to 7% of NSCLCs led to the development of ALK inhibitors, such as crizotinib, which have significantly improved treatment response among people with ALK-positive NSCLC. FISH with break-apart probes is currently the only approved test for the detection of ALK positivity in NSCLC, but this technique may not be available or feasible in all institutions. IHC, which is more affordable and accessible than FISH, has been found to be reliable as a screening tool, but interpretation of its results have not been standardized. Researchers continue to explore the optimal testing process for identifying ALK-positive NSCLCs."


Editor’s Note: “Molecular tests” like the one mentioned here can be very important for patients to choose the best treatment plan. Learn more at Lung Cancer Basics.

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IASLC  |  Feb 24, 2014

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Local Radiotherapy May Allow Lung Cancer Patients to Stay on Xalkori Longer

Local Radiotherapy May Allow Lung Cancer Patients to Stay on Xalkori Longer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Crizotinib (Xalkori) is effective for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have a mutation in the ALK gene, but their cancer usually develops resistance to the drug. However, this resistance may affect only part of the cancer, while the majority of the disease still responds to Xalkori. In such cases, localized radiation may be used to destroy the resistant part of the cancer (a technique dubbed 'weeding the garden') while patients continue to take Xalkori. In a small study, patients treated with this method could take Xalkori almost three times longer than those not eligible for the treatment. Longer times on Xalkori were associated with higher rates of 2-year survival. The average time without further relapse after the first radiation treatment was 5.5 months, and patients could be treated multiple times. Similar approaches may be effective with other targeted therapies.

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Medical Xpress  |  Jan 28, 2014

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FDA Grants Regular Approval to Xalkori for Treatment of ALK-Mutant Lung Cancer

FDA Grants Regular Approval to Xalkori for Treatment of ALK-Mutant Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted regular approval to the drug crizotinib (Xalkori) for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients who have mutations in the ALK gene. Xalkori received accelerated approval for this application in August 2011. Regular approval was awarded based on the results of a study examining patients with advanced NSCLC whose cancer had progressed despite first-line chemotherapy. Patients treated with Xalkori went an average of 7.7 months without further cancer worsening, compared to 3.0 months in those receiving the chemotherapy agents pemetrexed (Alimta) or docetaxel (Taxotere). Tumors shrank in 65% of the Xalkori-treated patients, compared to 20% with Alimta or Taxotere. However, overall survival did not differ between the Xalkori group and the chemotherapy group.

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ASCO Post  |  Nov 21, 2013

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New Drug May Overcome Resistance to Xalkori

New Drug May Overcome Resistance to Xalkori | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The drug crizotinib (Xalkori) is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with mutations in the ALK gene. However, most patients develop resistance to the drug, usually because of further mutations in the ALK gene. A new ALK inhibitor drug, PF-06463922, may offer a solution. PF-06463922 blocked a variety of Xalkori-resistant mutant versions of ALK in cell cultures, and inhibited the growth of Xalkori-resistant ALK-mutant tumors in mice. PF-06463922 also combated tumor cells driven by mutations in ROS1, a gene closely related to ALK, in mouse models. Like Xalkori, PF-06463922 may therefore also be effective for NSCLC patients with ROS1 mutations. Finally, PF-06463922 was able to penetrate into the brain in multiple animal species–important because lung cancer often spreads to the brain.

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ScienceDaily | Oct 20, 2013

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ALK Inhibitor on Track for Phase II Lung Cancer Trial

Early results of a phase I clinical trial suggest that an experimental ALK inhibitor drug will progress to the next phase of testing, researchers reported at the 2013 European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Called TSR-011, the new ALK inhibitor shrank tumors or kept them from growing in three people with non-small cell lung cancers that had abnormal ALK genes and that resisted a current ALK inhibitor called crizotinib. The researchers expect that TSR-011 will advance to a phase II trial of NSCLC patients with ALK abnormalities by end of year.

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TESARO, Inc.│Sep 29, 2013

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UK Health Authority Issues Final Rejection for Cancer Drug Xalkori

UK Health Authority Issues Final Rejection for Cancer Drug Xalkori | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) confirmed its decision to reject using National Health Service funding to provide crizotinib (Xalkori) to patients. Xalkori is used for patients with previously treated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have mutations in the ALK gene. While NICE acknowledges that Xalkori is effective in these patients, they do not consider its benefit substantial enough to warrant its high cost. Xalkori has been found to extend the time without cancer progression by an average of 5.1 months compared to standard chemotherapy; it is unclear whether it increases overall survival. UK patients can still take Xalkori, but would have to pay the full cost themselves (£37,512 - £51,579 for a complete treatment course).

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PharmaTimes | Sep 25, 2013

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Raja Mudad's curator insight, September 27, 2013 9:31 AM

We are very lucky in this country (so far!!) to be able to use cutting edge, science-based treatments for cancers.  Xalkori (crizotinib) for ALK + patients with lung cancer will not be covered in the UK.