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Researchers Report Double Dose of Promising Lung Cancer Findings

Researchers Report Double Dose of Promising Lung Cancer Findings | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Researchers with UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centerreport that two new experimental drugs have shown great promise in the treatment of patients with non–small-cell lung cancer, which accounts for about 85 percent of all lung cancers. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.


"The drugs—ramucirumab and CO-1868—were shown in separate clinical trials to increase survival times with fewer toxic side effects than standard treatments. The findings were presented this week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago."


Editor's note: For more on the ramucirumab findings, see our previous news post. To learn more about targeted therapies like CO-1686 and ramucirumab, visit our lung cancer Basics.

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Medical Xpress  |  Jun 5, 2014

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New EGFR Inhibitor AZD9291 Shows Promising Activity in Treatment-Resistant Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

New EGFR Inhibitor AZD9291 Shows Promising Activity in Treatment-Resistant Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Findings from a phase I study of a new mutant-selective epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, AZD9291, point to a promising new treatment option for patients with advanced, EGFR-mutant, non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is resistant to standard EGFR inhibitors. Roughly 50% of patients experienced tumor shrinkage, and the drug worked particularly well in patients with the T790M mutation (detected in 60% of patients), which causes the most common form of EGFR therapy resistance. The study was presented at a presscast in advance of the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 8009^)."


Editor's note: This story is about a new targeted therapy drug called AZD9291 that is designed to attack tumors with a mutation in the EGFR gene, as detected by molecular testing. In particular, it is designed for patients who are resistant to other so-called EGFR inhibitors as a result of developing a particular EGFR mutation known as T790M. In a clinical trial to test the drug in patients, it was found to show promising results for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with EGFR mutations, and even better results in patients with the T790M mutation.

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The ASCO Post  |  May 14, 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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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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Interim Results from Lung Cancer Clinical Trial of Tivantinib Remain Ambiguous

Interim Results from Lung Cancer Clinical Trial of Tivantinib Remain Ambiguous | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

An ongoing clinical trial is evaluating the effects of cancer drug tivantinib in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The trial studies patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC who do not have any mutations in the EGFR gene. Patients receive erlotinib (Tarceva) either by itself or in combination with tivantinib. Enrollment in the trial was stopped because rates of interstitial lung disease (ILD), which can cause lung scarring, may be higher in patients receiving tivantinib. (No such increased levels of ILD were seen in a different trial using tivantinib.) For the patients already enrolled, overall survival, time without cancer worsening, and percentage of patients experiencing tumor shrinkage all seem increased in tivantinib-treated patients. However, it is not yet clear whether these effects are indeed caused by tivantinib or are due to chance.

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MarketWatch  |  Jan 16, 2014

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Lung Cancer Drug BGB324 May Counteract Drug Resistance

Lung Cancer Drug BGB324 May Counteract Drug Resistance | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The protein Axl has been associated with cell transformation processes that contribute to the spread of cancer through the body and to cancers becoming drug resistant. A recent study investigated the effect of the Axl inhibitor BGB324 on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells that had become resistant to EGFR inhibitors like erlotinib (Tarceva). BGB324 restored the effectiveness of EGFR inhibitors against these cancer cells, which had been grown either in a matrix or as tumors in mice. BGB324 also appeared to enhance the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug docetaxel (Taxotere) and of bevacizumab (Avastin). BGB324 may therefore be a promising new candidate for treating drug-resistant NSCLC. The drug will be tested in a phase Ib clinical trial for NSCLC in 2014.

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Medical News Today  |  Jan 13, 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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Gilotrif Shows Effectiveness in Various Patient Populations with EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancer

Afatinib (Gilotrif) is a new lung cancer drug for people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have mutations in the EGFR gene. The LUX-Lung 3 clinical trial demonstrated that Gilotrif is superior to chemotherapy as first-line treatment in a global population of patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC. The LUX-Lung 6 trial confirmed these findings specifically in an Asian population; Asia has a three times higher rate of EGFR-mutant NSCLC than Western countries. More recent evidence indicates that Gilotrif is as effective in patients with rare EGFR mutations as it is in those with common mutations. Finally, Gilotrif recently showed effectiveness in NSCLC patients whose cancer had spread to the brain.

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Moneylife | Oct 28, 2013

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New Drug May Offer Option for Lung Cancer Patients Resistant to Tarceva/Iressa

New Drug May Offer Option for Lung Cancer Patients Resistant to Tarceva/Iressa | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Drugs known as EGFR inhibitors—like erlotinib (Tarceva) and gefitinib (Iressa)—are used to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with so-called 'activating mutations' in the EGFR gene. Unfortunately, drug resistance develops relatively quickly in most patients. Resistance is often due to additional EGFR mutations, so-called 'resistance mutations,' such as EGFR T790M. Researcher have developed a new EGFR inhibitor, AZD9291, which targets both activating and resistance mutant forms of EGFR. AZD9291 inhibited the growth of EGFR-mutant NSCLC cell cultures and eradicated lung cancer tumors with either activating or resistance mutations in mice. Because AZD9291 is less active against normal, non-mutant EGFR, it may have fewer side effects than other EGFR inhibitors. Initial tests of AZD9291 in patients have been promising.

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ScienceDaily | Oct 20, 2013

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Effect of New Lung Cancer Drug Depends on MET Protein Expression Levels

Effect of New Lung Cancer Drug Depends on MET Protein Expression Levels | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The cell protein MET is overexpressed in more than half of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. MET overexpression is associated with worse prognoses and plays a role in drug resistance to EGFR inhibitors like erlotinib (Tarceva). A recent clinical trial examined the effects of onartuzumab, which inhibits MET function, on recurrent NSCLC. Patients received either onartuzumab and Tarceva or Tarceva only. In patients who overexpressed MET, adding onartuzumab increased the time until cancer progression and prolonged overall survival. In contrast, in patients without MET overexpression, adding onartuzumab worsened outcomes. This finding highlights the importance of diagnostic testing in choosing the best cancer treatment. A clinical trial investigating the onartuzumab-Tarceva combination in MET-overexpressing patients only is currently enrolling participants.

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ASCO Post | Oct 10, 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).

Cancer Commons's insight:

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.

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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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Cancer Researcher: No Need for Further EGFR Inhibitor Versus Chemotherapy Trials

No more trials comparing EGFR inhibitors to chemotherapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) should be conducted, argues an editorial by cancer researcher Corey Langer. Eight separate trials have found that EGFR inhibitors like erlotinib (Tarceva), gefitinib (Iressa), and afatinib (Gilotrif) produce better results than chemotherapy in NSCLC patients who have mutations in the EGFR gene. No further confirmation is needed, Langer contends. Instead, research should focus on ways to overcome the drug resistance that many patients eventually develop to EGFR inhibitors, meaningfully extending overall survival in NSCLC, and directly comparing the relative effectiveness and safety of Tarceva, Iressa, and Gilotrif.

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Medscape | Sep 3, 2013

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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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Chemotherapy May be Preferable Option in NSCLC with Wild Type EGFR

Chemotherapy May be Preferable Option in NSCLC with Wild Type EGFR | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Chemotherapy yielded improved PFS vs. treatment using epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer with wild-type epidermal growth factor receptor.


"However, researchers noted that chemotherapy did not confer a benefit over EGFR TKIs in terms of OS.


"In the meta-analysis, researchers conducted a literature search of several scientific databases, including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane database, and abstracts from meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the European Society of Medical Oncology."


Editor's note: The study described here compared chemotherapy to treatment with targeted therapy drugs called EGFR TKIs for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors did NOT have mutations in the EGFR gene. (EGFR mutations and other mutations are often tested to help determine patients' treatment options.) The scientists found that chemotherapy  may be a better option for these patients. Chemotherapy seemed to extend the time that patients lived without their disease worsening. However, it did not show any benefit over EGFR TKIs in terms of overall survival.

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Healio  |  May 3, 2014

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Gefitinib, Erlotinib Increased Risk for Interstitial Lung Disease in Patients with Advanced NSCLC

Gefitinib, Erlotinib Increased Risk for Interstitial Lung Disease in Patients with Advanced NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Patients treated with advanced non–small cell lung cancer treated with gefitinib and erlotinib demonstrated a significant increased risk for all-grade and fatal interstitial lung disease events, according to results of a systematic review and meta-analysis.


"Erlotinib (Tarceva, Genentech) and gefitinib (Iressa, AstraZeneca), both of which are oral epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, are commonly used during treatment of advanced NSCLC. However, the overall risk for interstitial lung disease events are not known."

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Healio  |  Feb 5, 2014

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Pfizer Cancer Drug Fails in Two Late Stage Studies

In a recent phase III clinical trial, the cancer drug dacomitinib was no more effective than a placebo at prolonging survival for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) for whom standard therapy had failed. Like the targeted drugs erlotinib (Tarceva) and gefitinib (Iressa), dacomitinib blocks the protein EGFR, but it also inhibits a number of similar, related proteins. Another trial compared dacomitinib to Tarceva in NSCLC patients who had previously received at least one EGFR inhibitor. Dacomitinib did not increase time without cancer worsening compared to Tarceva. Results from a third phase III trial, which compares dacomitinib to Iressa in NSCLC patients with EGFR mutations, are expected next year.

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Bloomberg Businessweek  |  Jan 27, 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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Rash from Tarceva May Herald Drug Effectiveness

Rash from Tarceva May Herald Drug Effectiveness | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Skin rash is a common side effect of the lung cancer drug erlotinib (Tarceva). However, a clinical trial suggests that this rash can be a good sign and can be used to guide dosing. One hundred twenty-four patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) received first-line treatment with Tarceva. The drug dose was gradually increased until patients developed a skin rash or other side effects that prevented further dose increases. Seventy percent of patients developed a skin rash. Patients who developed a skin rash survived longer than those who did not (6.8 months longer on average), even though they did not differ in how much the treatment reduced the growth of their tumors.

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News-Medical.Net  |  Dec 16, 2013

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Crizotinib Can Reduce Kidney Function and Testosterone Levels

Crizotinib Can Reduce Kidney Function and Testosterone Levels | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A recent study suggests that crizotinib (Xalkori) can reduce kidney function. Lung cancer patients treated with Xalkori saw their kidney function decrease by 23.9% on average. Kidney function recovered when Xalkori was discontinued. However, as patients usually have to take Xalkori for months or years, these findings still warrant caution, especially in patients taking other medications that affect kidney function or with preexisting kidney damage. In an earlier study, investigators had found that Xalkori decreased testosterone levels in 84% of male patients. Because cancer drugs like Xalkori increasingly receive accelerated approval, not all of their side effects are known by the time they are approved. Doctors therefore need to carefully monitor their patients for possible adverse effects.

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Medical Xpress  |  Nov 21, 2013

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Early Evidence Supports CO-1686 as a Treatment Option in Drug-Resistant EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancer

Early Evidence Supports CO-1686 as a Treatment Option in Drug-Resistant EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Drugs known as EGFR inhibitors—such as erlotinib (Tarceva), gefitinib (Iressa), and afatinib (Gilotrif)—are very effective in treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with mutations in the EGFR gene. However, patients eventually develop drug resistance, usually caused by new EGFR mutations. T790M is the most common EGFR drug resistance mutation. CO-1686 is a novel drug that inhibits EGFR with the T790M mutation, as well as other mutant EGFR. A small study showed that eight of nine patients who had the T790M resistance mutation experienced more than 10% tumor shrinkage when treated with CO-1686. And, a new formulation of CO-1686 has been found to produce higher, more consistent, well-tolerated drug concentrations in patients.

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Yahoo! Finance | Oct 27, 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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Adding Tarceva to Avastin Maintenance Therapy Does Not Increase Lung Cancer Survival

Adding Tarceva to Avastin Maintenance Therapy Does Not Increase Lung Cancer Survival | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Results from the ATLAS clinical trial indicate that adding erlotinib (Tarceva) to maintenance therapy with bevacizumab (Avastin) does not increase survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients with advanced NSCLC who had been successfully treated with chemotherapy and Avastin received continued treatment with Avastin plus either Tarceva or a placebo. In patients who received both Avastin and Tarceva, the cancer took longer to start progressing again than in the patients given only Avastin (4.8 vs 3.7 mo, on average), but overall survival was not significantly different. Moreover, patients treated with both Tarceva and Avastin experienced more side effects. However, the benefits of added Tarceva were greater in the subgroup of patients with mutations in the EGFR gene.

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MedPage Today | Oct 7, 2013

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Personalized Treatment Yields Results for Cancer Patients

Personalized Treatment Yields Results for Cancer Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Personalized cancer medicine uses genetic testing of patients’ tumors to guide individually tailored treatment decisions. Such tests can determine which chemotherapies would likely be most effective and whether the patient may benefit from novel drugs targeting specific mutations. One example is the case of Elizabeth Lacasia, who has advanced bronchioalveolar carcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Testing revealed that she does not have any of the mutations targeted by the new drugs. Based on her test results, she was treated with a combination of Tarceva (erlotinib) and Alimta (pemetrexed) following an alternating schedule that has been proven effective for people with her cancer type. Her cancer has been in remission for 2 years.

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Newswise | Sep 10, 2013

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Molecular Marker Predicts Response to Iressa and Tarceva

Molecular Marker Predicts Response to Iressa and Tarceva | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A molecule named Mig 6 may help predict how much a patient will benefit from EGFR inhibitors like Tarceva (erlotinib) or Iressa (gefitinib). Preliminary results from an ongoing study reveal that cancer cells that are resistant to EGFR inhibitors have high Mig 6 levels. In an animal model of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) without EGFR mutations, higher Mig 6 levels predicted more resistance to EGFR inhibitor treatment. Finally, NSCLC patients with low Mig 6 levels were more likely to survive for over a year after EGFR inhibitor treatments. Mig 6 may help identify patients who would most benefit from EGFR inhibitors.

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Medical Xpress | Sep 5, 2013

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