- Mutations in EGRF (epidermal growth factor receptor) predispose to non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
- The cancer can therefore be treated with drugs called EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGRF-TKI) which include erlotinib, gefitinib, and afatinib.
- Patients on EGRF-TKIs soon develop resistance to treatment. Newer drugs like osimertinib may benefit these patients.
recently licensed drug osimertinib will now be available through the Cancer Drugs
Fund (CDF) in the United Kingdom, according to the National Institute for
Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The move will benefit around 300 people
per year in England and Wales who require the medication for lung cancer.
Osimertinib is an oral medication used for the treatment of an advanced cancerous tumor of the lung called non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a specific mutation, known as EGFR T790M-positive. The presence of the mutation is detected through a blood test.
There are several types of non-small cell lung cancer like squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
Lung Cancer - Facts and Statistics
- Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women
- About 224,390 new cases of lung cancer in 2016
- 14% of new cancers diagnosed are lung cancers
- Lung cancer accounts for about 1 out of 4 cancer deaths
- It mainly occurs in older people
- Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer
Common side effects include diarrhea, skin rash, dry skin, and nail changes. More serious adverse effects include lung and heart disease. Osimertinib should not be used in pregnancy.
Though short-term results of studies indicate that this new drug is advantageous, sometimes even bringing an apparent cure from cancer, its long-term effectiveness will be determined through ongoing clinical studies.
- NICE Recommends New Drug Osimertinib for Hundreds of People with Lung Cancer - (https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-recommends-new-drug-osimertinib-for-hundreds-of-people-with-lung-cancer)
- Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment - (https://www.cancer.gov/types/lung/hp/non-small-cell-lung-treatment-pdq)
- Highlights of Prescribing Information - (http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/208065s000lbl.pdf)
- Key Statistics for Lung Cancer - (http://www.cancer.org/cancer/lungcancer-non-smallcell/detailedguide/non-small-cell-lung-cancer-key-statistics)