TAGRISSO® Superior to First Generation EGFR TKIs in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

November 27th, 2017

Approximately 10% to 15% of Caucasian patients and 35-50% of Asian patients with Adenocarcinomas, harbor activating EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) mutations and 90% of these mutations are either Exon 19 deletions or L858R point mutations in Exon 21. EGFR-Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) such as TARCEVA® (Erlotinib), IRESSA® (Gefitinib) and GILOTRIF® (Afatinib), have demonstrated a 60% to 70% response rate as monotherapy when administered as first line treatment, in patients with metastatic NSCLC, who harbor the sensitizing EGFR mutations. However, majority of these patients experience disease progression within 9 to 14 months. This resistance to frontline EGFR TKI therapy has been attributed to acquired T790M “gatekeeper” point mutation in EGFR, identified in 50% – 60% of patients.
TAGRISSO® (Osimertinib), is a third-generation Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) TKI and in a randomized, double blind, phase III clinical trial, demonstrated superior efficacy and tolerability compared to the Standard of Care, as first-line therapy in patients with advanced EGFR mutation positive NSCLC. This benefit was seen even in those with CNS metastases at study entry. These new finding are very likely to change the treatment paradigm for NSCLC patients whose tumors harbor EGFR mutations.


Alcohol and Cancer: A Statement of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

November 17th, 2017

Alcohol consumption is an established risk factor for several malignancies, and is a potentially modifiable risk factor for cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of WHO, classified alcohol as a group 1 carcinogen. The American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and US Department of Health and Human Services all recommend that men limit intake to one to two drinks per day and women to one drink per day. People who do not currently drink alcohol should not start for any reason. There is a clear association between alcohol and upper aerodigestive tract cancers (larynx, esophagus, and oral cavity/pharynx). A recent meta-analysis of cohort studies among 209,597 cancer survivors showed an 8% increase in overall mortality and a 17% increased risk for recurrence in the highest versus lowest alcohol consumers. The benefit of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular health likely has been overstated and the net effect of alcohol is harmful. Alcohol consumption should therefore not be recommended to prevent cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality.

FDA Approves VERZENIO® for Hormone Receptor Positive, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer

November 1st, 2017

The FDA in September 2017, approved VERZENIO® (Abemaciclib) in combination with FASLODEX® (Fulvestrant) for women with Hormone Receptor positive (HR-positive), HER2-negative, advanced or metastatic breast cancer, with disease progression following endocrine therapy. In addition, VERZENIO® was approved as monotherapy for women and men with HR-positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer, with disease progression following endocrine therapy and prior chemotherapy, in the metastatic setting. The approval of VERZENIO® in combination with FASLODEX® was based on MONARCH 2 study which showed that a combination of VERZENIO® plus FASLODEX® significantly improved Progression Free Survival and Objective Response Rates, with a tolerable safety profile, in patients with Hormone Receptor-positive and HER 2-negative metastatic breast cancer, who had progressed while receiving endocrine therapy.