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Alternative to Iressa may be available


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I read this on another site and thought it might be of value here.

For anyone having trouble getting their insurance


to cover Iressa costs -- the FDA just approved Erbitux (cetuximab) for

colon cancer, with or without irinotecan (Camptosar). Erbitux is


EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) inhibitor, like Iressa. Unlike

Iressa, it's injected like traditional chemo. Since irinotecan is also

sometimes used for lung cancer, I'm assuming a doctor could also

prescribe Erbitux off-label for NSCLC. The drug should be available in

about two weeks, and estimates are it will cost about what Iressa


Wombat/Joan in Silicon Valley

Dx: BAC Jun-2003; Tx: Iressa Jul-2003

90% shrinkage Jan-2004

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From 2003 ASCO: http://www.bms.com/news/press/data/pf_press_release_3740.html

Press release about effectiveness of cetuximab in NSCLC. "In the randomized, Phase II, Merck KGaA-sponsored Lung Cancer Cetuximab Study (LUCAS), the addition of cetuximab to cisplatin and vinorelbine increased tumor response rates (53.3 percent vs. 32.3 percent) in 61 patients with chemotherapy-naïve NSCLC evaluable for response."

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Tarceva is the other drug that targets the same receptor as Iressa.

Also CI-1033 is in clinical trials (it is called a pan-Erbb inhibitor and targets the for erbb rececptors)

1) The primary objective of this study is to assess the antitumor activity of

CI-1033 in patients with progressive or recurrent, locally advanced (Stage IIIb)

or metastatic (Stage IV) non-small cell lung cancer.. This study is being

conducted in:

- Philadelphia, PA

(http://www.centerwatch.com/patient/stud ... 54477.html)

- New York, NY (http://www.centerwatch.com/patient/stud ... 54474.html)

- Houston, TX (http://www.centerwatch.com/patient/stud ... 54480.html)

- Louisville, KY (http://www.centerwatch.com/patient/stud ... 54470.html)

- Columbus, OH (http://www.centerwatch.com/patient/stud ... 54476.html)

- Boston, MA (http://www.centerwatch.com/patient/stud ... 54471.html)

- Ann Arbor, MI (http://www.centerwatch.com/patient/stud ... 54472.html)

- Ann Arbor, MI (http://www.centerwatch.com/patient/stud ... 54473.html)

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Don't know when/if tarceva will be approved. It is on the fast track and is in phase III trials. There is a trial with 700 people that started January 2003.

Astrazenaca filed for fda approval for Iressa in 12/2001 and it was approved on 5/2003.

So based on this I am *guessing* at least another

year before approval but that is a just a guess (and not an educated one since I don't work in the industry)

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