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The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Feb 06, 2012 (Issue 1383)
The FDA has approved crizotinib (Xalkori – Pfizer), an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor, for treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocation, which is found in about 4-5% of lung cancers. A diagnostic test (Vysis ALK Break Apart FISH Probe Kit – Abbott Molecular) is available to detect translocations of the ALK gene in tumor samples; these translocations occur predominantly in nonsmokers with adenocarcinoma.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Mar 28, 2005 (Issue 1205)
Erlotinib (Tarceva) is the second oral epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor to become available in the US for treatment of advanced refractory NSCLC. In clinical trials, erlotinib produced a response rate of only 8.9%, but increased median survival from 4.7 to 6.7 months. Patients who had never smoked and those with EGFR-positive tumors survived longer. Erlotinib is generally well tolerated; diarrhea and rash are the most common adverse effects.
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Sep 02, 2002 (Issue 1138)
Patients with lung cancer may be asking their physicians about gefitinib (ge fi' tye nib; ZD1839; Iressa -- AstraZeneca), because it has been the subject of positive coverage in the media. An inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase, this oral drug has not been approved by the FDA, but is in clinical trials in the US for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and some other solid tumors. Iressa was recently approved in Japan, and is available from the manufacturer on a "compassionate-use" basis in the US (800-236-9933).
The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics • Jul 23, 2001 (Issue 1109)
Most patients with lung cancer present with advanced disease, and fewer than 20% live for five years after diagnosis. Earlier detection of lung cancer, when it is potentially resectable, might improve survival. Recent studies have led some radiology centers to promote spiral computed tomography (CT), which involves much less exposure to radiation than standard CT, as a screening tool for lung cancer.