New Monoclonal Antibodies Increased Survival in Lung Cancer Patients

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A new study showed that non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who have high level of Met proteins in their tumor can have their survival increase three-fold by receiving experimental antibody MetMAb in combination with erlotinib (Tarceva). 

In the trial, 137 previously-treated patients with advanced NSCLC were randomized to receive treatment with either a combination of MetMAb and erlotinib, or erlotinib alone. 

The results showed that patients whose tumors had high levels of the Met gene and received MetMAb plus erlotinib had a significant improvement in overall survival, with patients living for an average of 12.6 months, compared with 3.8 months for those who took erlotinib alone. 

Furthermore, patients who took MetMAb in combination with erlotinib lived for an average of 2.9 months without their disease getting worse, which was significantly longer than those who were treated with erlotinib alone, who had progression-free survival of 1.5 months. 

Only edema was seen at a higher rate in the combination group than with the erlotinib group (23.2 % vs. 7.5%). 

This is certainly great news for lung cancer patients.  Unfortunately, MetMab, is an investigational medicine and is currently available through clinical trials.  The company (Roche), which developed this drug, is planning to start a Phase III study later this year.  

If you are interested in participating in the clinical trial, please contact your local physicians for information. 


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