Sunday, August 21, 2016
Causes of Lung Cancer of Non-Smokers and Treatments-An Update
Several days ago, I posted an article on possible causes of lung cancer of non-smokers. I wrote that article after I received a note that a close relative of Macrine was just diagnosed with lung cancer although she had never smoke a cigarette in her life. In that posting she does not know the stage and type of cancer she had.
Today she went to see her oncologist for the results of her PET scan last week. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Fortunately there is a treatment plan available that will likely contain the spread of the cancer. The pill that she will take appears to be highly effective because of three conditions: she’s Asian, has no history of smoking, and she has metastatic non small cell lung cancer.
The drug prescribed for her is Gefitinib (Iressa). The drug has very tolerable side effects, namely, skin rashes and diarrhea. An alternative drug in the same class is Erlotinib ( Tarceva). According to the clinical literature, Erlotinib has been found to have improved overall survival rate than Gefitinib.
Tarceva is also indicated for stage 4 non small cell pancreatic cancer.
Last November, Tagrisso (omisertinib; formerly AZD9291) obtained FDA approval for the treatment epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients whose tumours carry the T790M mutation. The drug is a third-generation EGFR inhibitor, which is designed to overcome resistance to other drugs in the class such as Roche/Astellas' $2bn-a-year Tarceva (erlotinib), AZ's Iressa (gefitinib) and Boehringer Ingelheim's Giotrif (afatinib).
For details on Iressa and Tarceva read the following:
https://www.drugs.com/iressa.html and https://www.drugs.com/tarceva.html