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Vandetanib shows clinical benefit when combined with docetaxel for lung cancer
Date:6/4/2010

HOUSTON - When combined with standard chemotherapy, an international Phase III trial has shown that the oral targeted therapy vandetanib improves progression-free survival for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, according to research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The findings, published in the Lancet Oncology, mark the first clinical benefit of a small molecule targeted agent and standard chemotherapy in combination for lung cancer. The study was first presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

"This study shows that an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor can be combined with chemotherapy safely and effectively to provide systematic benefit to patients with this life-threatening disease," said Roy Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chief of the section of MD Anderson's Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology and the study's corresponding author. "Still, we need to build on this research and turn our focus toward better identifying molecular markers involved, with the ultimate goal of personalizing our patient's care."

The therapy is unique in that it's a dual inhibitor and targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR). It is the first single agent in lung cancer to target both receptors, said Herbst, the study's international principal investigator.

"Both receptors are active in lung cancer. EGFR targets the tumor cell and VEGF targets the blood vessels, so, with vandetanib, we're really targeting the entire tumor environment at the same time," explained Herbst. "As a dual inhibitor, it also may provide cost-savings to patients in that they can now potentially take one therapy instead of two."

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer accounts for the most cancer-related deaths. In 2009, approximately 219,440 were diagnosed and 159,390 died from
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
713-745-2457
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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Vandetanib shows clinical benefit when combined with docetaxel for lung cancer
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