Crizotinib reduces tumor size in patients with ALK positive lung cancer

September 6, 2012

Crizotinib is effective in shrinking tumors in patients with anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase (ALK) positive non-small cell lung cancer, a cancer commonly found in people who never smoked, and should be the standard of care for advanced stages of this disease, according to research presented at the 2012 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology. This symposium is sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and The University of Chicago.

ALK gene rearrangements are found in around 5 percent of lung and are more common in people with lung cancer who never smoked. Crizotinib is an oral drug that was found to inhibit the effects of the ALK gene and to stop or reverse tumor growth.

In this phase II trial, researchers followed 901 patients for safety and 261 patients for tumor response; all of the patients had at least one prior for their lung cancer. The overall response rate to crizotinib treatment was 60 percent and the median progression free survival (PFS) was eight months, confirming prior findings that crizotinib shrinks ALK-positive lung cancers and demonstrates a high PFS rate.

"This trial demonstrates that we have a good opportunity to shrink cancers and improve symptoms for patients with this subtype of lung cancer," said Gregory Riely, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York who specializes in treating lung cancer. "This confirms the results of prior studies and further shows that crizotinib can reduce the effects of symptoms, thereby improving the quality of life for thousands of patients who are diagnosed with this late-stage lung cancer. This study confirms that crizotinib is the standard of care for patients with ALK positive ."

Explore further: Study examines drug resistance in ALK positive lung cancer

More information: The abstract, "Results of a Global Phase II Study with Crizotinib in Advanced ALK-positive Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)," will be presented during the Plenary Session at 12:30 p.m., Central time on September 7, 2012.

Related Stories

Study examines drug resistance in ALK positive lung cancer

January 19, 2012
Scientists from the University of Colorado Cancer Center have once again advanced the treatment of a specific kind of lung cancer. The team has documented how anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive advanced non-small cell ...

First and only therapeutic drug for ALK-positive lung cancer approved

August 31, 2011
In a major triumph for personalized medicine, the FDA approved the drug crizotinib for use with the lung cancer type known as ALK-positive.

Benefit of targeted lung cancer therapy confirmed

June 3, 2011
A drug that targets a specific type of lung cancer shows a dramatic response in more than half of the people who take it. The drug, called crizotinib, has been in clinical trials since 2006, and the results from the largest ...

ALK rearrangement found in nearly 10 percent of patients in Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium

July 5, 2011
ALK rearrangement has been found in 9.6% of lung cancer patients tested in the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium, and MET amplification in another 4.1%, reflecting how many patients might benefit from targeted therapies such ...

New research confirms need for lung cancer testing

February 2, 2012
Different kinds of lung cancer behave in different ways, suggesting they are fundamentally different diseases. According to a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in Cancer, the official journal of the American ...

Recommended for you

New therapeutic approach for difficult-to-treat subtype of ovarian cancer identified

July 24, 2017
A potential new therapeutic strategy for a difficult-to-treat form of ovarian cancer has been discovered by Wistar scientists. The findings were published online in Nature Cell Biology.

Immune cells the missing ingredient in new bladder cancer treatment

July 24, 2017
New research offers a possible explanation for why a new type of cancer treatment hasn't been working as expected against bladder cancer.

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.