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Epigenetic therapy shows promise in hard-to-treat lung cancer
Date:11/9/2011

PHILADELPHIA -- Patients with recurrent metastatic non-small cell lung cancer have a morbid prognosis, but a new epigenetic therapy may have potential in this population, according to data published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

A research team at Johns Hopkins University tested a combination epigenetic therapy of azacitidine and entinostat among patients with recurrent metastatic non-small cell lung cancer who had been heavily pretreated but showed no response.

Researchers found a median survival of 6.4 months with treatment, where the typical survival for this patient population is four months.

Four of the 19 patients who received subsequent anticancer therapies had a major objective response to immediate subsequent treatment with other agents. Seven patients remain alive, including two who began treatment approximately four years ago.

This drug combination has previously shown efficacy among patients with leukemia.

"We are starting to show traction for epigenetic therapy for one of the most difficult-to-treat tumors," said Stephen A. Baylin, M.D., professor and deputy director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University and leader of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) Epigenetics Dream Team. "This study appears to show the first durable successes in solid tumors with epigenetic therapy."

The AACR will host a press conference on the findings on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Reporters can participate by using the following dial-in information:
U.S./Canada: (888) 647-7462
International: (201) 604-0169

The press conference will be hosted by Cancer Discovery Co-editors-in-Chief Jos Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., associate director and chief of the division of hematology/oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D., director of the cancer center at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
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Contact: Jeremy Moore
Jeremy.Moore@aacr.org
215-446-7109
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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