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Experimental Drug Makes Lung Cancer Tumor Shrink In 90% Of Patients

Posted Jun 06 2010 8:48am

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Medical News Today

An extremely promising experimental drug, called crizotinib for lung cancer patients with a specific gene has shrunk tumors in 90% of patients in a clinical study within two months, researchers from Pfizer. Inc. said. With expectations of just a 10% response rate to this new medication - which would have been good news anyway - a 90% rate surprised everybody.

The 80 patients involved in the trial had advanced lung cancer, in a number of cases the cancer had already spread to the brain. Most of them had already tried 3 other medications.

Study leader, Dr. Yung-Jue Bang, Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea, said that responses to crizotinib have so far lasted up to 15 months - it has been fast-tracked into late-stage testing.

Crizotinib targets a gene that promotes the growth of the tumor, i.e. it targets that genetic defect in the cancer cell. Approximately 1 in every 20 patients with lung cancer has this gene (a specific re-arrangement of the ALK gene) - mainly younger patients who do not and have not smoked. Approximately, 10,000 people with this gene are diagnosed with lung cancer in the USA each year.

Read the rest of this article from Medical News Today - click here

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