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

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.