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Friday
Jul222011

Researchers Say Tarceva Should Be Used as First-Line Therapy Instead of Chemo

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SHANGHAI) -- Patients with a particular type of non-small-cell lung cancer that is positive for a marker called EGFR can be treated with targeted therapy.  A drug called Tarceva is FDA approved and indicated for use in patients who fail to respond to initial chemo treatments.  But a new a study from the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital in China shows that maybe Tarceva should be given to patients as a first-line therapy -- and not only after chemo has failed.  Their findings were published in Lancet Oncology.

Researchers treated 165 previously untreated EGFR-positive lung cancer patients with either Tarceva or the standard chemo regimen.  Turns out that the disease didn’t progress for 13 months in those treated with Tarceva, compared with only 4.6 months in those getting chemo.  Tarceva was also associated with fewer side effects.  

But, the authors don’t provide any data on whether Tarceva actually prolonged life in these patients, and other studies of similar targeted therapies have not shown a benefit in overall survival.

Despite this, the authors conclude that Tarceva “...is important for first-line treatment of patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC [non-small-cell lung cancer].”
 
It should be noted, however, that this study was funded by Roche, the company that manufactures Tarceva.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio