Hopes are high for lung cancer drug after early tests

Another item from the world of medicine came up today as a drug researched by Pfizer is performing well in early testing. This one is a lung cancer treatment:

It’s way too soon to declare success, but an experimental drug for lung cancer patients with a certain gene showed extraordinary promise in early testing, doctors reported at a cancer conference on Saturday.

More than 90 percent of the 82 patients in a study saw their tumors shrink after two months on the drug, Pfizer Inc.’s crizotinib (crih-ZAH-tin-ib), researchers reported.

Doctors had expected only about 10 percent of these very sick patients to respond to the drug, according to one of the study’s leaders, Dr. Yung-Jue Bang of the Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea.

These were people with advanced disease, including some whose cancers had spread to the brain. They had already tried an average of three other drugs. Responses to crizotinib have lasted up to 15 months so far, and the drug has been rushed into late-stage testing, Bang said.

Good, we need to move the really promising drugs forward as quickly as science will allow.

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