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).
- 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
- Patients on EGRF-TKIs soon develop resistance to
treatment. Newer drugs like osimertinib may benefit these patients.
The move will benefit around 300 people
per year in England and Wales who require the medication for lung cancer
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.
‘Osimertinib will now be accessible to patients of EGFR T790M-positive non-small-cell lung cancer through the NHS in the United Kingdom.’
There are several types
of non-small cell lung cancer like squamous cell carcinoma, large cell
carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
Exposure to cigarette
smoke, radiation or occupational pollutants can predispose to NSCLC. It is
often diagnosed late and has a poor prognosis. Mutations in EGRF (epidermal
growth factor receptor) cause the lung cells to grow into cancer. Therefore, a
group of drugs called EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGRF-TKI) are used to
treat it. Drugs in this group are erlotinib, gefitinib, and afatinib.
become ineffective after being used for a few months following the development
of resistance due to mutations like the T790M mutation in the EGRF gene. The newer EGRF-TKI osimertinib also targets
the T790M mutation, and is therefore used in the treatment of resistant cancers
Osimertinib provides the last chance of hope for these cancer patients.
Lung Cancer - Facts and
- 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
- It mainly occurs in older people
- Smoking is the primary cause of lung
Being a targeted
therapy, osimertinib mainly acts against cancer cells, with lesser side effects
to the other organs of the body as compared to some other anti-cancer drugs
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
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 -
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)