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Genetics are becoming a Factor in treatment now!!!!


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Customized Lung Cancer Treatment

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Patients with lung cancer are responding to a new drug aimed at targeting the disease at the genetic level.

A drug designed to target a gene expressed in certain types of cancer has shown promise in treating non-small lung cancer that is positive for the gene, called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). Of 31 ALK-positive lung cancer patients who were heavily treated with the drug, 65 percent responded.

"This helps prove the principle that there may be many different molecularly defined diseases lurking under the same non-small cell lung cancer umbrella, each of which may derive considerable benefit from drugs that are highly specific to these molecular abnormalities if only we knew what they were," D. Ross Camidge, M.D., Ph.D., clinical director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the University of Colorado, was quoted as saying. "Here we have begun to move away from a one-size-fits-all treatment by testing lung cancers for specific genetic changes in advance of choosing the treatment for them."

Researchers say while accurate measurements of progression-free survival on the drug have not yet been measured, striking clinical responses in ALK-positive lung cancers have been observed. A Phase III study of the drug, called PF-02341066, comparing it to standard chemotherapy is underway.

Source: Presented at the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer, January 12, 2010; Coronado, Calif.

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