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Gene Variations May Predict Outcomes in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Gene Variations May Predict Outcomes in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Variations in two genes called CXCR-2 and PAR-1 may predict how a person with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) will fare. A study of over 200 NSCLC patients found that those with certain versions of the genes were likely to experience faster disease progression and shorter survival, especially if patients had squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Both genes are involved in tumor angiogenesis, that is, the growth of new blood vessels that enable tumors to expand. In the future, testing for these high-risk gene variants may help identify good candidates for anti-angiogenesis treatments like bevacizumab (Avastin).

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Lung Cancer | Mar 30, 2013

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Testing for EGFR and ALK Mutations Recommended for All Lung Adenocarcinoma Patients

Testing for EGFR and ALK Mutations Recommended for All Lung Adenocarcinoma Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

All patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), should be tested for mutations in the EGFR and ALK genes, according to guidelines developed by three prominent professional medical societies. Mutations in these genes predict a much higher likelihood of benefitting from treatment with EGFR inhibitors like erlotinib (Tarceva) and gefitinib (Iressa), or ALK inhibitors like crizotinib (Xalkori), respectively. The tests should be performed for all adenocarcinoma patients as soon as advanced disease is detected, regardless of sex, race, smoking history, or other clinical risk factors.

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MedPage Today | Apr 5, 2013

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It Takes a Village to Personalize Cancer Treatments

It Takes a Village to Personalize Cancer Treatments | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

To match tumors having particular mutations with the best treatments, cancer centers are beginning to set up interdisciplinary teams. The experts range from oncologists who treat patients, to bioinformaticians who interpret genetic data, to researchers who study cancer genetics. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA, sequences DNA from tumors and then advises patients of their options for targeted treatments based on the latest studies. Similarly, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, uses genetic analysis to identify tumors with known targeted treatments and also links cancer patients with clinical trials. Besides benefiting people with cancer in real time, this team approach helps scientists zero in on the research questions that will help future patients the most.

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New Scientist│Apr 3, 2013

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Clinical Trials Slated for Treatment that Shrinks All Tumors Tested

Clinical Trials Slated for Treatment that Shrinks All Tumors Tested | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Last year, a PNAS study showed that the surfaces of many tumor cells have a protein called CD47, which protects them from the immune system. But when these tumors are treated with a drug that inhibits CD47, they get attacked by immune system cells. The researchers transplanted seven kinds of human tumors into mice and treated them with the CD47-targeting drug. All of the tumors—bladder, brain, breast, colon, liver, ovary, and prostate—shrank or disappeared, which kept them from spreading. Now, the research will progress to clinical trials, thanks to a $20 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. CD47 was originally found on leukemia and lymphoma cells; the initial trial will target the stem cells that perpetuate acute myeloid leukemia. This cancer of the blood and bone marrow is fatal within months if untreated, and the 5-year survival rate is only 30% to 40%, even with aggressive treatments including chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants.


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Huffington Post Healthy Living│Apr 3, 2013

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Phase II Study Shows New Drug is Effective against NSCLC

Phase II Study Shows New Drug is Effective against NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Preliminary results from an ongoing phase II clinical trial of new lung cancer drug AXL1717 suggest that the drug is effective against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients with advanced NSCLC received either AXL1717 or chemotherapy with docetaxel (Taxotere) as a second-line treatment. AXL1717, which acts by inhibiting a protein called IGF1R, appeared to be as effective as Taxotere at delaying cancer progression. AXL1717 may be a treatment option for patients who do not respond or become resistant to Taxotere or other second-line treatments. AXL1717 is manufactured by drug company Axelar. More information about the clinical trial can be found here: http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01561456

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News-Medical.Net | Apr 2, 2013

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Looking Good Helps People with Cancer Feel Better, Too

Cancer treatments can extend and even save lives, but the cosmetic side effects can devastate a person's sense of self. These changes in appearance—from dry, itchy skin to loss of hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes to disfiguring surgery—can also lead to social isolation. Understandably, changes to the face are particularly distressing. Ways of coping with altered looks include makeup and wigs as well as physical activity and therapy. Women with cancer can get free beauty tips from makeup artists and wig stylists through the Look Good…Feel Better program, which is offered at more than 3,000 hospitals and community centers across the country.



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National Cancer Institute│Mar 27, 2013

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Reolysin Continues to Show Promise for Lung Cancer Treatment

An ongoing phase II clinical trial of the novel cancer treatment Reolysin has yielded promising results. Reolysin, which is produced by Oncolytics Biotech, is a form of reovirus, a virus that infects and destroys cancer cells. The clinical trial studied patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), who received Reolysin in combination with chemotherapy. Nine of 21 patients showed a partial response, while another 9 patients exhibited stable disease; the cancer worsened in the remaining 3 patients. Similar response rates to Reolysin had been observed during the first stage of this trial last year. Oncolytics press release: http://www.oncolyticsbiotech.com/news_items/details?press_release_id=1929

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Yahoo! News  | Mar 28, 2013

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UK Health Authority Provisionally Rejects Funding for Cancer Drug Xalkori

UK Health Authority Provisionally Rejects Funding for Cancer Drug Xalkori | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has provisionally recommended against the use of National Health Service resources to provide crizotinib (Xalkori) to patients. NICE considers the drug to be too expensive for the expected benefit. Xalkori is used to treat patients with previously treated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have mutations in the ALK gene. The drug has been approved in the U.S. since August, 2011, and conditionally approved in Europe since October, 2012. Patients in the UK can still get access to Xalkori, but would have to cover the cost (£4,689/$7,100 for a 30-day supply) themselves. NICE’s provisional guidance is up for comment, after which a second draft guidance will be issued. More details at: http://www.pharmatimes.com/Article/13-03-27/NICE_issues_draft_no_for_Pfizer_s_Xalkori_but_opens_consultation.aspx

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PMLiVE  | Mar 27, 2013

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Online Dietary Recommendations For Cancer Patients Are Inconsistent

Online Dietary Recommendations For Cancer Patients Are Inconsistent | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Dietary guidelines for cancer patients on the websites of even high-quality cancer treatment centers are inconsistent and contradictory, a recent survey showed. Of 21 institutions surveyed, only a minority provide their own online nutritional recommendations; the rest either link to external websites or provide no guidance at all. Half of the websites recommend a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, while the other half recommend equal amounts of fat and carbohydrates. Several specific foods are recommended on some websites, but discouraged on others. Many of the guidelines are aimed at avoiding weight loss; however, weight loss is a significant risk only in some cancer types and obesity is associated with poor outcomes in other cancer types. The survey underlines the need for studies leading to consistent, cancer-type-specific nutritional guidelines for cancer patients. Research paper: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01635581.2013.757629

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Medical News Today | Mar 28, 2013

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Switching from Iressa to Tarceva Halts Drug-Induced Immune Suppression in Lung Cancer Patient

Switching from Iressa to Tarceva Halts Drug-Induced Immune Suppression in Lung Cancer Patient | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Neutropenia (a reduction in white blood cells) is a rare, but potentially serious side effect of the cancer drug gefitinib (Iressa). Iressa is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with mutations in the EGFR gene. A patient with EGFR-mutant advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung (a type of NSCLC) was treated with Iressa. Her tumor shrank, but she experienced severe neutropenia, leaving her at risk of dangerous infections. She was switched to erlotinib (Tarceva), another EGFR inhibitor, after which her neutropenia cleared up. The patient has since continued on Tarceva without neutropenia or cancer progression for over nine months. This case suggests that Iressa-induced neutropenia can be safely treated by switching to Tarceva, although caution should be used in drawing conclusions from a single case study.

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Lung Cancer | Mar 14, 2013

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New Drug Shrinks NSCLC Tumors, But Does Not Improve Survival, Early Results Say

New Drug Shrinks NSCLC Tumors, But Does Not Improve Survival, Early Results Say | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Results from a phase II clinical trial show that Cerulean Pharma’s anticancer drug, CRLX101, did not increase survival for patients with previously treated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, CRLX101 did shrink tumor size. Cerulean took a risk by focusing on overall survival; early clinical trials often measure drug effectiveness by looking at less-challenging measures, such as treatment response rate or time to cancer worsening. Several other clinical trials of CRLX101 in different cancers, including small cell lung cancer (SCLC), are still ongoing. More details about the drug and the trial can be found at: http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2013/03/06/cerulean-pharma-arrives-at-moment-of-truth-with-cancer-drug/.

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PR Newswire | Mar 22, 2013

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Contrary to Concerns, Drug to Treat Side Effects of Chemoradiotherapy May Not Undermine Treatment

Contrary to Concerns, Drug to Treat Side Effects of Chemoradiotherapy May Not Undermine Treatment | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The drug amifostine (Ethyol) reduces toxic side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. However, scientists are concerned that Ethyol may also protect tumors and undermine cancer treatment. To test this, a clinical trial examined the effects of Ethyol in patients with stage II and IIIA/B non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were treated with radiation and chemotherapy simultaneously. Patients who took Ethyol experienced no differences in survival or cancer progression compared to those who did not take Ethyol, suggesting that the drug did not undermine treatment. However, Ethyol did not improve quality of life or reduce throat inflammation during treatment, although it did appear to lessen swallowing difficulties. Not enough patients participated in the study to completely rule out a potential effect of Ethyol on survival.

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Lung Cancer | Mar 11, 2013

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FDA Fast-Tracks Approval Process for Lung Cancer Drug LDK378

The FDA has designated Novartis’s anticancer drug LDK378 as a "breakthrough therapy," thereby placing it on a faster track for FDA approval. Breakthrough therapy is a status reserved for drugs that treat serious conditions and that have been shown by preliminary studies to provide a substantial improvement over currently available treatments. In addition to the drug being eligible for accelerated approval, a company producing a breakthrough therapy receives more guidance from the FDA throughout drug development. LDK378, which inhibits a protein called ALK, is designed to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a mutation in the ALK gene. It may be effective in patients with ALK-mutant NSCLC who have become resistant to the ALK inhibitor crizotinib (Xalkori).

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Reuters | Mar 15, 2013

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Raja Mudad's curator insight, March 18, 2013 1:09 PM

More drugs approved for Lung cancer. This one will be for patients wit ALK positive mutation who have failed Xalkori.

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Three Genes Linked to Nerve Damage from Chemotherapy

Three Genes Linked to Nerve Damage from Chemotherapy | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Chemotherapy damages nerves in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy) of up to one-third of those treated, but there's no way to tell who will suffer this side effect. That may change soon—three genes are linked to peripheral neuropathy, researchers reported at the American Association for Cancer Research's 2013 meeting. The researchers sequenced 20,000 genes from 119 people and found those who developed peripheral neuropathy during chemotherapy were also more likely to have mutations in genes called EPHA5, ARHGEF10, and PRX. Next, the researchers plan to expand the study to the entire genomes of up to 1,000 people being treated with chemotherapy.

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Mayo Clinic│Apr 9, 2013

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Exercise Increases Quality of Life for People with Cancer

Exercise Increases Quality of Life for People with Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Cancer and its treatment can diminish quality of life, but two recent reviews of past clinical trials show that exercise can help restore a sense of well-being in both cancer patients and survivors. Measures of quality of life included fatigue, anxiety, and pain, while types of exercise included walking, bicycling, and yoga. The first review looked at 56 trials with a total of 4,826 people who were undergoing cancer treatment. This review showed, for example, that exercise reduced anxiety, fatigue, and sleep disturbances and that the more intense the exercise, the greater the benefits. The second review examined 40 trials with a total of 3,500 people who had completed cancer treatment. This review showed, for example, that people who exercised were less worried and felt less fatigue and pain. They also had better self images, which is key to avoiding the social isolation that can come with changes in appearance due to cancer treatments.

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Medical Xpress│Apr 5, 2013

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PARP Inhibitors May Offer New Option in Lung Cancer Treatment

PARP Inhibitors May Offer New Option in Lung Cancer Treatment | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A new class of drugs called PARP inhibitors could help patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have become resistant to cisplatin (Platinol), a study suggests. Researchers found that Platinol-resistant NSCLC cells contain high levels of a protein called PARP1 in an unusually hyperactive form. PARP1 inhibitors killed these cancer cells and slowed the growth of Platinol-resistant NSCLC tumors implanted into mice. High levels of a protein called PAR predicted greater effectiveness of PARP inhibitors and may be a future biomarker for identifying patients who would benefit from the treatment.

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Medical News Today | Apr 3, 2013

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First Treatment for Pain Caused by Chemotherapy

First Treatment for Pain Caused by Chemotherapy | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Conventional chemotherapy can damage nerves, causing pain and numbness, particularly in the hands and feet. Called neuropathy, this side effect can last months or even years after the completion of chemotherapy and there are currently no effective treatments. A new JAMA study shows that chemotherapy-induced neuropathy can be lessened with a drug called duloxetine (Cymbalta), which has also been shown to alleviate neuropathy in people with diabetes. The new study included 231 people who reported pain of at least 4 (on a scale of 0 to 10) after treatment with oxaliplatin or taxanes such as paclitaxel. Nearly 60% of those treated with duloxetine reported pain relief and those who had been treated with oxaliplatin may have benefited the most.



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Medical Express│Apr 2, 2013

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Medical Express│Apr 2, 2013

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Smoking Sooner after Waking Is Associated with Higher Lung Cancer Risk

Smokers who have their first cigarette sooner after waking are at higher risk for lung cancer, researchers at Pennsylvania State University found. Those who smoke immediately after waking have higher blood levels of NNAL, a breakdown product of a carcinogen present in tobacco, compared to those who smoke their first cigarette later in the day. The results hold even for those who do not smoke more cigarettes overall. The researchers suggest that smoking soon after waking may reflect greater tobacco dependence, which could lead those smokers to inhale more deeply and absorb more carcinogens. Based on these findings, some future anti-smoking interventions may focus on early-morning, high-risk smokers. Research paper: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2013/03/27/1055-9965.EPI-12-0842.abstract

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Penn State News | Mar 29, 2013

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U.S. Cancer Survivors Projected to Jump 30% over Next Decade

The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. will rise from 13.7 million today to 18.0 million in 2022, according to the American Association for Cancer Research. This increase will be driven by the aging population, with two-thirds of cancer survivors being age 65 years or older within 10 years. Today, women with breast cancer account for about one-fifth of survivors and men with prostate cancer account for another one-fifth, reflecting strides in diagnosis and treatment. Five-year survival rates are now nearly 89% for breast cancer and nearly 100% for prostate cancer. However, people with lung cancer account for just 3% of today’s survivors, underscoring the need for better ways of diagnosing and treating this illness.



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American Association for Cancer Research│Mar 27, 2013

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Avastin May Be Effective Against Lung Cancer with Bone Metastases

A retrospective study of cancer patients suggests that bevacizumab (Avastin) may be an effective treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with bone metastases (cancer spread to the bone). The patients had non-squamous NSCLC with bone metastases and had been treated with zoledronic acid (Zometa/Reclast) and chemotherapy either with or without Avastin. Avastin treatment was associated with better control of both bone metastases and overall disease, longer time to bone metastasis progression, and fewer complications related to bone degeneration, such as fractures or spinal cord compression. Research paper: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00280-013-2148-3

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Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology  | Mar 27, 2013

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New Drug May Be Effective for Lung Cancer Patients with RET Mutations

New Drug May Be Effective for Lung Cancer Patients with RET Mutations | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Some patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have tumor mutations called "RET fusions." RET fusions are especially common in patients who have adenocarcinoma, never smoked, and/or have no mutations in other genes commonly associated with NSCLC. In an ongoing phase II clinical trial, three patients with adenocarcinoma and RET fusions appeared to respond well to the drug cabozantinib (Cometriq). The tumors of two of the patients shrank during Cometriq treatment, while the third experienced stable disease. Further studies are needed, but these results suggest that Cometriq may be an effective treatment for NSCLC patients with RET fusions. Research paper: http://cancerdiscovery.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2013/03/23/2159-8290.CD-13-0035.abstract

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Cancer Discovery | Mar 26, 2013

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ALK Gene Mutations May Present New Treatment Target for Some Lung Cancer Patients with Brain Tumors

Treatment options are limited for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to the brain (brain metastases). Standard chemotherapy drugs often cannot penetrate the brain well enough to treat brain tumors, leaving radiation, surgery, or easing of symptoms as the only choices. However, drugs that target specific mutations in tumors may open up new possibilities. Some NSCLC patients who have mutations in the ALK gene are likely to benefit from treatment with ALK inhibitors like crizotinib (Xalkori). A study of NSCLC patients with ALK mutations in their lung tumors showed that ALK mutations were present in their brain tumors, too. This finding suggests that ALK inhibitors may be effective in treating brain metastases in patients with ALK-mutant NSCLC, as long as the drugs can effectively penetrate the brain. Research paper: http://www.lungcancerjournal.info/article/S0169-5002(13)00055-X/abstract

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HealthCanal | Mar 23, 2013

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Cancer Drug Shortages in the U.S. Are Harmful and Costly

Cancer drug shortages are widespread and have tangible negative effects, according to a nationwide survey of U.S. health professionals who manage cancer drugs. Ninety-eight percent of those surveyed had experienced a shortage of at least one essential cancer-related drug in the past year, and 93% reported that these shortages resulted in delays or changes in treatment. Sixteen percent said the shortages had detrimental effects, such as disease progression or treatment complications, including one death due to a medication mistake. Drug shortages can also disrupt clinical trials and increase healthcare costs by driving up drug prices and tying up health care provider time. Federal legislation was passed in 2012 to enable the FDA to better address drug shortages, but the study’s authors believe that further action is needed. Full survey report at: http://www.ajhp.org/content/70/7/609.abstract

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ScienceDaily | Mar 21, 2013

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ScienceDaily | Mar 21, 2013

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Biomarker Test Does Not Predict Response to Chemotherapy in Lung Cancer

A test for levels of a protein called ERCC1 does not predict how likely non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients are to benefit from chemotherapy, as was previously believed. NSCLC patients whose cancer can be surgically removed are often treated with chemotherapy after surgery (so-called "adjuvant chemotherapy"). A previous study had suggested that patients with lower levels of ERCC1 were more likely to benefit from such chemotherapy, because higher levels of ERCC1 could counteract the effects of platinum-based chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin (Platinol). However, a follow-up study found no association between ERCC1 test results and chemotherapy benefits. A possible reason is that currently available tests are not selective enough to distinguish the active version of ERCC1 from other versions of ERCC1 or from other proteins.


Research paper: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1214271#t=abstract

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MedPage Today | Mar 20, 2013

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Tarceva Improves Quality of Life in Certain Lung Cancer Patients

Tarceva Improves Quality of Life in Certain Lung Cancer Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Updated results from a clinical trial showed that patients who were treated with the drug erlotinib (Tarceva) had better quality of life than those receiving standard chemotherapy.The OPTIMAL study is a phase III clinical trial investigating Tarceva as a first-line treatment for people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have a mutation in the EGFR gene. Tarceva-treated patients scored higher on questionnaires assessing physical, social/family, emotional, and functional well-being. The updated results also confirmed that Tarceva-treated patients experienced longer periods without worsening of their cancer compared to chemotherapy-treated patients.

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Annals of Oncology | Mar 1, 2013

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