Drug That Extends Survival Rate for Lung Cancer Patients Gains FDA Approval
Los Angeles, CA - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a new drug to treat non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), offering patients new hope in fighting this difficult disease. Lung cancer is expected to lead to over 150,000 deaths in the United States this year alone, and NSCLC accounts for about 85 percent of all lung cancers.
The drug, Cyramza (ramucirumab), was tested on more than 1,200 patients with NSCLC whose cancer worsened during or after first-line chemotherapy. The research was conducted as part of a multi-year, phase 3 clinical trial at UCLA and other centers in 26 countries on six continents. The study is the first in previously treated NSCLC patients to demonstrate a survival benefit in approximately a decade.
Cyramza is an antibody that targets the extracellular domain of VEGFR-2, an important protein in the formation of vessels that supply blood to cancer cells. Patients were given the experimental drug in combination with docetexal, a clinically approved therapy that is considered the cornerstone of second-line treatment in advanced NSCLC, said Dr. Edward Garon, the study's principal investigator and a researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Results of the study were recently published by Dr. Garon and colleagues in The Lancet.
The usual standard therapy for patients when disease worsens during or after initial therapy is chemotherapy with a single drug. This is a patient population for whom an overall survival of several months is usual, with approximately 10 percent of patients responding to therapy. Continue>
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