Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New targeted therapy adds benefit to erlotinib in some patients with advanced lung cancer

Date:
October 9, 2010
Source:
European Society for Medical Oncology
Summary:
A subset of lung cancer patients seem to live longer and experience delays in disease progression when a new drug that targets a cancer-associated molecule called MET is added to treatment with erlotinib, the results of a double-blind Phase II trial show.

A subset of lung cancer patients seem to live longer and experience delays in disease progression when a new drug that targets a cancer-associated molecule called MET is added to treatment with erlotinib, the results of a double-blind Phase-II trial show.

Dr David Spigel, Director of lung cancer research for the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, Tennessee reported the trial findings at the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan, Italy.

The study included 128 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who were randomly assigned to treatment with either erlotinib plus placebo, or erlotinib plus MetMAb, a monoclonal antibody that binds specifically to the MET receptor on cancer cells.

"MET is an important switch in cancer cells," Dr Spigel explained. "When turned on, it influences the growth of these cells. Importantly, MET activation has also been implicated in the resistance of lung cancers to EGFR inhibitors such as erlotinib. MetMAb helps target this switch and turn it off."

Dr Spigel and colleagues tested for mutations in the EGFR gene and for expression of MET in tumor samples from trial participants.

At the end of the trial, the researchers found that among the 51% of patients whose tumors expressed MET, those who received MetMAb plus erlotinib had better overall survival and longer progression-free survival than those who received erlotinib plus placebo.

In this subset of Met+ patients, adding MetMAb to erlotinib nearly halved the risk of disease progression or death during the study compared to those treated with erlotinib plus placebo.

"In those patients who were found to express the MET protein (the target of MetMAb), MetMAb appeared to improve the treatment benefit when added to erlotinib compared with erlotinib alone," Dr Spigel said.

Conversely, patients whose tumors did not express the MET protein appeared to do worse when treated with the MetMAb/erlotinib combination. "The reasons for this finding are unclear. It is possible that MetMAb may interfere with erlotinib's activity in these patients, but further study would be necessary to better understand this potential negative association," Dr Spigel said.

"The findings of this trial are important, and need to be validated in a larger randomized Phase-III trial in patients selected for MET expression," Dr Spigel said.

The results of this trial are important for three reasons, commented Professor Jean-Charles Soria from Institut Gustave Roussy, Paris, France.

"First, this is the second trial in lung cancer where targeting of MET in combination with erlotinib suggests a better outcome," Prof Soria said. "This confirms that MET is a relevant target in cancer."

"Also, the present Genentech-sponsored trial has identified a putative biomarker, namely MET immunohistochemical positivity, which appears to be easy to implement as immunohistochemistry testing is daily practice in pathology labs."

"Finally, in the present trial the biomarker-positive population not only derived a benefit in progression-free survival, but also an almost statistical overall survival benefit, which is remarkable taking into account the small number of patients. One note of caution, however, is that these Phase-II results should be validated in a larger Phase-III trial."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society for Medical Oncology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society for Medical Oncology. "New targeted therapy adds benefit to erlotinib in some patients with advanced lung cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101009082816.htm>.
European Society for Medical Oncology. (2010, October 9). New targeted therapy adds benefit to erlotinib in some patients with advanced lung cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101009082816.htm
European Society for Medical Oncology. "New targeted therapy adds benefit to erlotinib in some patients with advanced lung cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101009082816.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins