Drug maker Pfizer Inc’s new medication for treating rare lung cancer has found showing remarkable effect in shrinking the unwanted tumor, showed a new clinical trial result which was presented at medical meeting on Saturday.
The lung cancer drug Xalkori can do wonders in treating people with an even rarer form of the disease with a specific gene mutation.
The findings of the clinical trial were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting in Madrid.
“This is the first definitive study to establish crizotinib’s activity in a large group of patients with ROS1-positive lung cancer and confirms that ROS1 is a bonafide therapeutic target in those patients,” said Dr. Alice Shaw, from Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, who also led the medical study.
For the study, the researchers involved 50 people diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a rearrangement of the ROS1 gene. During the medical trial, it was found that the proper intake of the Pfizer drug resulted in shrinkage of the tumors remarkably in 36 patients. The researchers said the results were very impressive as a significant 72 percent of the total participants showed shrinkage in their potentially fatal tumors due to the medication. Along with this regular intake of Xalkori also halted the growth of unwanted tumor in another nine patients.
Xalkori, chemically called crizotinib, got approval from the federal health body the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for treating people with ALK gene mutation and a companion diagnostic test to spot those with the gene mutation that accounts to about four percent of the rare NSCLC disease.
The drug, if taken twice daily, showed response within the average duration of 17 months.
Shaw said, “The remissions induced by crizotinib in ROS1-positive patients are quite prolonged and the treatment resistance on average appears to emerge much later than what is witnessed with other targeted therapies for lung cancer or common skin cancer type melanoma.”
The study was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.