Mixed results found in first trial targeting mutation in cancer patients

09/03/2015 // JusticeNewsFlash // (press release)

U.S. – Researchers targeting gene mutation in patients with lung cancer and other types of malignancies obtained mixed results in a recent study. As reported by Reuters Health, in the first trial to target mutation as opposed to cancer, the study found that the powerful skin cancer drug vemurafenib may be effective in treating tumors with certain gene mutations.


Included in the findings was a 42 percent response rate in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, and a 43 percent response rate for those with the rare cancer like conditions Erdheim-Chester disease or Langerhans'-cell histiocytosis.


The drug has been approved for patients with metastatic melanoma with the BRAF mutation. The study targeted other tumors that have the same mutation. Similar studies are underway and may have an impact on how cancers will be treated in the future.


Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, who is not connected to the research is quoted in the report as stating “It's not whether you have pancreatic cancer, or colon cancer or lung cancer that's going to be important to the treating clinician… What's going to be important to the treating clinician is what's wrong with your tumor at a molecular level.”


The study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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