Navigation Links
Skin Rashes Signifies Longer Survival in Cancer Patients

Researchers from OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc found that the appearance of a rash in cancer patients treated with erlotinib (Tarceva) is strongly associated with longer survival.

This is not the first time that rash has been associated with a survival advantage with EGFR inhibitors - a class of drugs which includes erlotinib, cetuximab, panitumumab and others designed to block overproduction of the epidermal growth factor receptor - but it is the most detailed analysis to date.

The study, published in the July 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, reports that for patients taking Tarceva who developed a moderate to severe rash, survival without progression of disease was 245 percent longer than in patients who had a mild rash or none at all. In fact, in the majority of cases, the more severe the rash, the longer a patient's cancer was held in check, researchers found.

This rash, which often looks like acne, can be unpleasant enough for some people to consider discontinuing treatment, but "it is important for physicians and patients to understand that this a positive event because it means there is likely to be a better clinical outcome," said the lead author, Bret Wacker, MS Director of Biostatistics at OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

"Further studies are needed to both identify patients most likely to develop rash and to determine if dose escalation to induce rash can improve efficacy."

Although few patients dropped out of the large Phase III clinical trials testing Tarceva in advanced non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer due to the rash, Wacker said he fears those who are taking Tarceva outside of a clinical trial may be likely to stop treatment.

"Some patients are stopping treatment because of the rash, yet those are the ones who are most likely to benefit," Wacker said. "This is a critical problem and rather than permanen tly discontinue treatment, patients should talk to their doctor about an effective and proactive strategy to manage the rash while continuing Tarceva therapy."

According to the researchers, these rashes can be controlled with mild steroids or antibiotics, and in most cases, they will improve with treatment. They are believed to be due to an inflammatory response as a result of EGFR inhibition in skin tissue, Wacker said.

The analysis looked at two placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, Phase III clinical trials testing Tarceva in advanced non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer - studies which led to approval of the agent for treating both cancers. Wacker and his team excluded patients who died in the first month after starting the study because they may not have had time to develop the rash or the rash may have been under-reported in these ill patients.

Of the 673 patients in the lung cancer study, called BR.21, and in the Tarceva-treated group, 81 percent developed a rash, the majority of which was grade 2 (The study graded rashes from 1, relatively mild, to 4, severe).

The researchers found that the presence of any rash correlated with overall and progression-free survival and that these correlations increased with the grade of rash. Specifically, Tarceva-treated patients who did not develop a rash survived a median of 3.3 months, compared to 7.1 months for those with a grade 1 rash, and 11.1 months for patients with more severe, grade 2 rashes.

They also found, however, that 18 percent of patients treated with a placebo also developed a rash, and that overall survival in these patients was also significantly longer (a median of 8.2 months compared to 4.7 months), compared to placebo patients who didn't develop a rash. "We don't know why some patients treated with a placebo developed a rash, but it could be due to the strength of their immune system, and that is why they survi ved longer," Wacker said.

In the second clinical trial (known as PA.3) that tested Tarceva and the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine against a placebo drug and gemcitabine in 521 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, 71 percent of patients using Tarceva/gemcitabine developed a rash, compared with 30 percent of patients in the placebo group.

This increased rate of rashes in the placebo group makes some sense, Wacker said, because rashes are known to occur with use of gemcitabine chemotherapy. But, unlike the BR.21 study, these pancreatic cancer patients with rashes in the placebo group did not experience an increase in survival compared to placebo group patients without a rash.

In the Tarceva treatment group, only a more severe rash of grade 2 or higher was associated with increased survival. Patients with a grade 2 rash survived a median of 10.8 months, compared to treated patients with no rash (5.4 months) or a grade 1 rash (5.7 months). "These different results may be associated with the addition of gemcitabine with Tarceva, or the lower dose of Tarceva in this study, but we just don't know," he said.

Wacker points out that lack of a rash doesn't necessarily mean that patients will not benefit from Tarceva. "A small percentage of patients who didn't develop a rash still had relatively long survival," he said. "But, still, overall, patients who don't develop a rash don't do as well as those who do."


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Longer airway in males increases sleep disorder risk
2. Longer Lung Cancer Survival
3. Patients Are Given Catheter Longer Than Necessary
4. Fat Patients Require Longer Needles
5. Patients In Ontario Wait Longer For Treatment
6. Quality Platelets and Improved Blood Availability No Longer a Pipe Dream
7. Oscar Winners Live Longer Than Co-Competitors
8. Threat from Chikungunya, No Longer a Fear
9. Cyber Sex, No Longer A Fantasy Of The Mind
10. Kids Face a Slim Chance of Growing Obese, If Breastfed Longer Than Three Months
11. Misleading Health Claims On Food Labels No Longer Allowed in EU
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 28, 2017 , ... Park ... free AFM Luncheon for all SEMICONWest attendees and Park customers on July ... feature talks from Dr. Sang-il Park, Chairman & CEO of Park Systems, and ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... Doner Financial, ... regions access to insurance assistance and financial planning services, is announcing the commencement ... families in the region facing financial crisis. , Matthew 25: Ministries (M25M) is ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... Jupiter, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2017 ... ... Integration™, today announced the appointment of Mike Finnegan to the position of Executive ... 25 years of experience in healthcare technology, telehealth and medical device sales leadership. ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... , ... Harbour , a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) that harnesses the ... their technical specifications . , 2017 has seen an explosion of token launches ... which offerings will garner the greatest ROI. Dean Eigenmann, Co-founder and CEO of Harbour, ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... ... Association’s SUNucate efforts, Louisiana became the sixth state to pass legislation which ... Governor John Bel Edwards’ signature, Louisiana joins the states of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/30/2017)... , May 30, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ... Annual Global Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, ... John Greisch , Hill-Rom,s president and chief executive officer, is ... The live audio webcast can be accessed at http://ir.hill-rom.com/events.cfm ... conclusion of the live event through September 13, 2017. ...
(Date:5/29/2017)... Biotechnology Ltd. (NASDAQ: APOP ; TASE: APOP), a ... of stem cells, today provided a corporate update and ... 31 st , 2017. "We are ... of 2017," said Dr. Shai Yarkoni, Chief Executive Officer. ... the first blood cancer patient in the recently initiated ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , May 25, 2017  In response to the ... , Direct Relief is working with Pfizer to make ... at no cost to community health centers, free and ... nationwide. "Pfizer has a long-standing commitment ... and ensuring patient safety through educational activities," said ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: