Cetuximab Increases Survival in Patients with Lung Cancer with High EGFR Expression

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Good news for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)!  If you have NSCLC, you might like to ask your oncologist to check whether you have high expression of EGFR.  Patients with high EGFR expression represented about 25 percent of people with NSCLC. 

A new study presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer meeting showed that non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who had high EGFR expression and received cetuximab (Erbitux) and standard chemotherapy lived 2.4 months longer than those in a control group. 

The new analysis is part of the FLEX trial which evaluated the effects of cetuximab on patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.  

The results indicated NSCLC patients who had high EGFR expression and were treated with cetuximab in combination with standard chemotherapy were able to survive for an average of 12 months, compared to 9.6 months of those who were given chemotherapy. 

Furthermore, patients who received cetuximab had 44.4 percent response rate, compared to 28.1 percent among patients who did not receive the drug. 

The good response to this drug, however, was not seen among NSCLC patients with low EGFR expression. 

Source: International Association of the Study of Lung Cancer Meeting 2011 

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