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EU approves new lung cancer drug

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EU approves new lung cancer drug

Tue 28 Jun 2005 09:43 am CST


The European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recently gave positive recommendations for the non-small cell lung cancer drug, Tarceva. As the first and only treatment to target EGFR, or epidermal growth factor receptor pathways, Tarceva has shown improved survival rates among those with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). As such, the therapy offers new hope to Europe's 370,000 people suffering from lung cancer each year.

EGFR pathways are believed to play an important role in the formation and growth of several different cancers. A trial compared Tarceva to a placebo-controlled group for the treatment of NSCLC, after the first or second line of chemotherapy failed. Results showed that patients given Tarceva lived significantly longer than those give a placebo. While one-third of the Tarceva group was still living after a year, only one-fifth of the placebo group enjoyed such luck.

Tarceva works by targeting the EGFR, a key component in the signaling pathway that plays a crucial role in the formation and growth of many different types of cancerous tumors. Tarceva hinders tumor growth by disrupting thr signaling pathway. It has also been shown to improve survival rates in metastatic pancreatic cancer patients.

Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for 80% of the 1.2 million new lung cancer cases each year.

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