Navigation Links
Clinical insight improves treatment with new lung cancer drug
Date:4/4/2012

AURORA, Colo. (April 4, 2012) - Men experience a marked drop in their testosterone levels when taking a targeted therapy to control a specific type of lung cancer. That's according to a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the April issue of Cancer, the official journal of the American Cancer Society.

Investigators at CU Cancer Center looked at the hormone levels in men with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) taking crizotinib, after a 35-year-old man on the drug reported symptoms that are often attributed to low testosterone levels: fatigue and sexual disinterest.

Crizotinib tablets were licensed by the Food and Drug Administration in August 2011, because of its dramatic and long-lasting suppression of ALK positive lung cancer. ALK positive lung cancer was only recently described so very few cancer centers have a lot of experience identifying and treating this subtype of the disease. CU Cancer Center was involved in the initial development of the drug and has treated one of the largest groups of ALK positive patients in the world.

The testosterone study included 19 men with lung cancer taking crizotinib and 19 men with lung cancer receiving other kinds of therapy. Andrew Weickhardt, MD, senior clinical fellow at the CU Cancer Center, and one of the study's co-authors said listening to the specific issues of that one young man, and a growing awareness of the incidence of low testosterone in cancer patients, made investigators look more closely at their patient population.

"While testosterone was low in only about thirty percent of men on other therapies, it was low in one hundred percent of the men who were on crizotinib. And when we started to track it over time, we could clearly see testosterone levels dropping within days of starting on the drug," said Weickhardt.

As men may stay on crizotinib for months, or even years, the effects of low testosterone could be profound.

"Low testosterone can reduce bone density and muscle strength as well decrease sex drive and increase fatigue and depression. There are many factors associated with a cancer diagnosis that can lower testosterone, but the levels in crizotinib-treated patients were so uniformly low and their direct relationship with starting the therapy meant there was no doubt the drug was contributing to it, " said endocrinologist Micol Rothman, MD, co-author of the study. "Fortunately, we can easily test for and treat this condition."

Matt Ellefson, a lung cancer patient from South Dakota who sought out a second opinion from the University of Colorado program, recalls although his cancer was responding to the crizotinib his energy levels seemed very low. Ellefson's physicians quickly confirmed his testosterone was low and prescribed a testosterone replacement gel.

"The testosterone made an incredible difference in my fatigue and endurance. I could actually feel the difference within 48 hours. Within a week, I had more energy throughout the work day, my running times and workouts improved to the point that I have now entered to run a half-marathon later this year," said Ellefson.

"Testing hormone levels and providing testosterone supplements is a simple way to improve the way these men feel," said Weickhardt. "It's not just about sex drive, it's about overall quality of life."

In recent weeks, several studies from the CU Cancer Center have advanced understanding about ALK positive lung cancer. One study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), reveals that when ALK positive lung cancer eventually mutates to become resistant to crizotinib it does so in different ways. Either the cancer changes the ALK protein so that the crizotinib is ineffective against it or it develops another type of cancer molecule that makes the cancer less dependent on ALK. If the ALK protein changes, it may be vulnerable to a stronger ALK inhibitor. If it combines with another type of cancer molecule, a combination of drugs may be required.

Another study published in Cancer, shows different these molecular subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer show distinct patterns of spread in the body.

"Every time we make a discovery, whether it's about the biology or the treatment of ALK or any of the many other emerging subtypes of lung cancer, we are a step closer to making lung cancer less of a headline in people's lives, " said Cancer Center investigator D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, director of the thoracic oncology clinical program at University of Colorado Hospital (UCH). "With the testosterone story, we can see that knowing your patients as people allows a good doctor to spot patterns and make breakthroughs that can really improve how someone with lung cancer feels on a daily basis."

The CU Cancer Center's Thoracic Oncology Program is world renowned for its pioneering treatment of lung cancer. The program includes a multidisciplinary team of specialists and subspecialists working together to establish the best treatment plan for each patient. Advanced molecular profiling of a patient's tumor, combined with an extensive array of standard and experimental treatments available through clinical trials has lead to major advances in patient outcomes in the last few years. The program's one-year survival rates for advanced lung cancer consistently run twice as high as the national average. The survival rates at five years run four times higher than the national average.

CU Cancer Center is the lead site for the national Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium, the collaboration of 14 of the nation's elite lung cancer programs. The consortium is profiling ten different molecular abnormalities in lung cancer and pairing them with specific experimental treatments over the next few years.


'/>"/>

Contact: Erika Matich
erika.matich@ucdenver.edu
303-524-2780
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. First targeted nanomedicine to enter human clinical studies
2. Early clinical data show galeterone safe, effective against prostate cancer
3. Stephanie R. Wilson, MD, to be presented with the Joseph H. Holmes Clinical Pioneer Award
4. Standardized outcome measures proposed for asthma clinical research
5. NYU Langone orthopaedic experts present research, clinical advances at AAOS meeting
6. Large hospital successfully implements CPOE system with clinical decision support for radiology
7. New target for cancer therapy identified, preclinical study shows
8. NIH to join multi-center clinical trial of new tuberculosis vaccine
9. Parkinsons treatment shows positive results in clinical testing
10. Kessler Foundation and USC collaborate on clinical virtual reality for disability research
11. Clinical trial demonstrates that rilonacept significantly reduces gout flares
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... , ... Further establishing itself as a leader in natural pet products category, ... were selected from over 1,000 entrants as a winner and recipient of the prestigious ... for dogs are a favorite product among pet-parents worldwide, as each whimsical knobby shape ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Zitter Health Insights ... Patient Satisfaction Award that will recognize specialty pharmacies for their achievements in customer ... Insights’ Specialty Pharmacy Patient Satisfaction Survey compiled throughout 2016. Results will be published ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Dr. Rassouli, dentist in Orange ... decline. According to the research, which was published in the “Journal of the American ... and about 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that dental problems ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Visceral fat, also known ... the kidneys, liver and pancreas. If not properly addressed, visceral fat can lead ... Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care, warns against the dangers of visceral ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... The 2016 World Ultimate & Guts Championship ... Camp at Manhattan College, made the cut. The WUGC is being held in London, England ... won the gold in the men’s division, another gold in the women’s masters division, and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... ISELIN, New Jersey , April 29, 2016 ... Omnichannel Software Suite for Life Sciences, Product Development ... and Global Life Science Customer Base . ... healthcare solutions provider, today announced the acquisition of ... is a global leader in adaptive sales enablement ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... India , April 29, 2016 ... the life science laboratory due to the growing demands ... by advance technology, contemporary automated systems are already adept ... performed by slow, tedious and manual labor. Instrumentation continues ... were not even conceivable just a few years ago. ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... DUBLIN , April 28, 2016 ... the "Global Plastic Surgery Products Market 2016-2020" ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , The global plastic ... CAGR of 9.47% during the period 2016-2020. , ,The ... factor leading to the growth of the market. Lasers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: