CORONADO, Calif. — Patients with non-small cell lung cancer in whom treatment with gefitinib is ineffective often have limited options, but results of a new study suggest that retreating patients with the same drug could have a beneficial effect.
“The key may be in tumor heterogeneity,” said In-Jae Oh, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital in the Republic of Korea. “That is, within a tumor, some cells are independent of epidermal growth factor receptor and those will fail to respond, but we can continue to target the other cells that have become addicted to epidermal growth factor receptor.”
For the current study, presented at the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins in Lung Cancer, which was held here from Jan. 11-14, 2010, Oh and colleagues evaluated 15 patients who were retreated with gefitinib after more than one cycle of chemotherapy for advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
Among the six patients who had showed partial response with initial gefitinib treatment, two patients showed an additional partial response and three patients continued to show stable disease.
Among the nine patients who showed stable disease with the initial gefitinib treatment, two patients showed partial response and three patients showed stable disease. The overall disease control rate was 66.7 percent.
“After failure with gefitinib and subsequent chemotherapy, we can try gefitinib again especially for the patients who had previously responded to gefitinib. This strategy will keep some patients from the toxicities of chemotherapy and help maintain the quality of life for several months,” said Oh.
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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 30,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and nearly 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowship and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 16,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.
In Coronado, Jan. 11-14: