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New crizotinib side-effect
Date:11/21/2013

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in the journal Cancer shows that using crizotinib to treat ALK positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) appears to reduce kidney function when assessed by one of the most commonly used clinical methods. Whether this reflects a true effect of crizotinib on kidney function, or only on the accuracy of this particular method for assessing it is being studied. Though kidney function recovered in almost all cases after the crizotinib was stopped, as patients may be on crizotinib for months or even years researchers recommend additional tests of kidney function if they are worried about changes in the standard kidney function test or are concerned about using other drugs that interact with the kidneys concurrently with crizotinib.

"Crizotinib is such a powerfully effective drug for patients with ALK positive lung cancer that approval was fast-tracked by the FDA. This was wonderful: it got the drug into clinics quickly. But it also means that the dataset on side effects available to write the initial instruction booklet on the drug was pretty small at the time. Clinicians in the community starting to use this and other fast-tracked drugs may therefore be the ones tasked with noticing some side-effects for the first time," says Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, director of the thoracic oncology clinical program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and the senior author of the study.

For another example of a side effect that was not in the original data presented to the FDA, in an earlier study Camidge and colleagues showed that testosterone is reduced by crizotinib in 84 percent of male patients taking the drug.

"These patterns may be right there in front of our eyes, but because they haven't been described before sometimes you can talk yourself out of being the one to discover something new. As anti-cancer drugs enter the pharmacy quicker and quicker, we have to empower the hu
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Contact: Garth Sundem
garth.sundem@ucdenver.edu
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

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