New Pfizer drug may aid in lung cancer war
Milan, October 11, 2010
A drug being developed by Pfizer known as PF-299 has shown an ability to prevent lung cancer getting worse when given as a first-line treatment to patients with advanced disease in a small study.
Nearly 85 per cent of patients whose cancers had mutated versions of the so-called EGFR gene were progression-free for at least nine months, according to preliminary results from the mid-stage Phase II study presented on Monday.
Existing cancer pills like AstraZeneca's Iressa and Roche's Tarceva are already known to be effective against cancer in patients with a mutation activating the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).
But PF-299 has a broader effect and may add to the arsenal of compounds against non-small cell lung cancer -- the most common form of the disease -- if later stage trials are successful.
So far the study has looked at only 74 patients but Dr. Tony Mok from the Chinese University of Hong Kong said the findings were encouraging, since they supported the idea that newer drugs targeting multiple points on the receptor pathway might have an advantage.
After nine months of treatment 57.1 per cent of patients overall and 84.7 per cent of those patients with EGFR mutations remained progression-free, he told the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) congress.
EGFR mutations are most commonly found in non-smokers and Asian populations.
Dr. Enriqueta Felip, from Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, who was not involved in the research, said the findings were encouraging.
Overall survival could not be estimated because so few patients have died in the study so far.
Mace Rothenberg, head of clinical development and medical affairs for Pfizer's oncology unit, told Reuters that PF-299 could represent another step in personalising care in lung cancer -- something which has been emphasised at ESMO with results from other clinical studies.
"It's an important next step in first-line medicine in really trying to match the right therapy to the right patient," Rothenberg said.
Pfizer is working on a more advanced lung cancer treatment called crizotinib, which it plans to file for regulatory approval next year. Results presented in June showed crizotinib shrank lung cancer tumours in more than half of treated patients and nearly all showed some benefit.
Crizotinib works in a different way, by blocking a genetic mutation that occurs when two genes fuse together to form a gene called EML4-ALK, which causes cancer. – Reuters
More Health & Environment Stories
- RAK Hospital launches urinary clinic for women
- NBAD backs Emiratis on Antarctica trip
- Cut sugar intake drastically urges WHO
- Al khaliji to fund Qatar recycling plant
- Qatar researcher in 360km breast cancer run
- New facilitator to open in DHCC
- Many countries lack capacity to prevent hearing loss
- QUIT NOW: Passive smoking hurts kids' arteries
- San Francisco to ban plastic water bottles
- GSK wins home toothpaste award for Sensodyne
- E-integration vital to GCC healthcare industry
- Fakih IVF unveils two new genetic tests
- 2 die from H1N1 in Oman
- Al Noor Hospitals targets domestic growth
- Medical panel on the way in Bahrain
- 40pc of UAE adults ‘have hypertension’
- Saudi diabetics urged to stay away from camels
- GCC readies plan to fight heart diseases
- Bahrain opens sickle cell hospital
- Hazardous waste focus for Oman summit
- Infectious viruses to be tracked by satellite in UAE
- Mafraq Hospital names new surgery chief
- Saudi health ministry seals BMJ partnership
- Need for medical simulation training highlighted
- UAE-France discuss healthcare collaboration
- Seha focus on patient centred services
- Saudi-Tokyo firms in wastewater technology JV
- Leading experts at Dubai diabetes conference
- UAE reliance on green energy on the rise
- DB unit backs therapeutic riding programme