Lung Cancer Pill Crizotinib Shrinks Tumors

Filed in Gather News Channel by on October 29, 2010 0 Comments

A lot of people who suffer from cancer must endure grueling chemotherapy sessions, which has been known to cause many painful side effects. Imagine the possibility of instead having to simply take a pill. Well, researchers have now confirmed that the Pfizer Inc. drug, crizotinib, actually shrunk the tumors of 57 percent of patients and stabilized another 33 percent.

 You may be wondering how it is exactly that this lung cancer pill crizotinib shrinks tumors. Well, according to researchers this drug works against cells that have turned cancerous when two genes fuse to form a new gene. This new Gene is called EML4-ALK. This accounts to three to five percent of people with non-small-cell lung cancer, which is roughly 10,000 patients in the United States.

This study was done by Dr. Eunice Kwakof the Massachusetts General Hospital and colleagues and was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Kwak’s team projected that 72 percent of patients would have enjoyed six months without their disease worsening.

Pfizer has stated that it planned to start submitting data for approval of the drug to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration later this year. The side effects of crizotinib were nausea and diarrhea and were reported to be mild and moderate. This was displayed in 40 percent of patients.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, lung cancer is the most universal cancer killer. There are 1.61 million cases worldwide, and out of those a staggering 1.2 million are killed from it.

This new discovery could be an exciting alternative to chemotherapy for sufferers of lung cancer. Take a moment to think about this interesting find. This treatment seems to be much more practical and far easier than making regular trips to chemotherapy clinics. FAYETTEVILLE, NC - AUGUST 04: Lead dosimetrist Kenn Florell looks over a cancer patient's image scan to help plan a radiation treatment at Cape Fear Valley Cancer Center August 4, 2010 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Health care providers around the country are increasingly specializing their care by creating distinct treatment centers for various disorders and acquiring the latest high-tech medical equipment. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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