07 June 2017

Cancer Treatment: Good news

New in drug therapy of oncological diseases

Anna Stavina, XX2 century

Several medicines have proven themselves well in the fight against common forms of cancer. We can say that these drugs set a new standard for the treatment of many types of prostate, breast and lung cancers. Among these remedies, there is even one "universal medicine" that can help in various clinical situations. And finally, what is especially important – in some cases, new drugs retain their effectiveness for a year or more, while conventional drugs usually do not last longer than a few months.

Here are some of the funds discussed at the largest oncological event in the world, at the conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (American Society of Clinical Oncology).

Prostate cancer

The drug Zytiga (Zytiga) produced by the pharmaceutical company Janssen Biotech improved survival without signs of progression by an average of 18 months. This result was achieved in clinical trials involving 1,200 volunteers with late-stage prostate cancer. At the same time, Zitiga was used in combination with standard therapy. Currently, the drug is approved for the treatment of tumors resistant to hormone therapy.

The study was discontinued earlier than the planned date, because the patients who took Zitiga lived significantly longer than the volunteers from the control group. Three years after the start of work, 66% of men treated with the new drug were alive, and only 49% of those who received only standard therapy.

The second study involved 1,900 men whose prostate cancer was first diagnosed in the late stages. And again, the addition of Zytiga to standard treatment improved survival: three years later, 83% of those who took Zytiga and 76% of those who did not were alive. In addition, taking the new drug reduced the likelihood of relapse and serious bone problems.

Zitiga causes quite a lot of side effects, in particular, increases blood pressure, but doctors believe that the benefits of this drug exceed the risks associated with its use. A monthly course of the drug in the United States costs about 10 thousand dollars.

Lung cancer

The drug Alecensa (Alecensa, alectinib), manufactured by Roche, turned out to be more effective than Xalkori (Xalkori, crizotinib) produced by Pfizer. During the study, which included 303 volunteers with late-stage lung cancer and a mutation in the ALK gene, Alecensa stopped tumor growth for an average of 26 months, and Xalkori – only for 11. In addition, Alesense penetrates the brain better: only 9% of those taking this drug had metastases in the brain during the first year of treatment. In the group receiving Xalkori, this figure was 41%. Serious side effects and deaths on the background of taking Alecensa were also less common.

The price of a monthly course of treatment with Alecense in the USA is $ 12,500, and Xalkori is $ 10,000.

Breast cancer

For the first time in a long time, a representative of a new class of drugs, PARP inhibitors, demonstrated effectiveness in a large-scale study among women with an inherited mutation in the BRCA gene. This mutation increases the risk of developing breast cancer (breast cancer). PARP inhibitors prevent cancer cells from "repairing" breakdowns in their DNA. Some of these drugs are already approved as treatments for certain types of ovarian cancer.

In a recent study of the drug Lynparza (olaparib) produced by AstraZeneca, 302 women participated in whose breast cancer has spread beyond the breast. All the participants had tumors of the type that did not respond to treatment with Herceptin. Half had so-called "triple negative" cancer. All participants had previously undergone chemotherapy, and some tried to take hormone blockers.

Linparza moderately delayed the onset of disease progression. In patients who took this drug, the average time without progression was 7 months, and in those who received one of the three common means for chemotherapy – 4 months. Against the background of the use of Linparza, side effects such as nausea, fatigue and violation of the blood formula were most often encountered, but serious problems occurred less often than against the background of chemotherapy. It is not yet known whether Linparza improves survival.

A monthly course of treatment with the drug costs $ 13,000.

Of interest is another drug, Xeloda (Xeloda, capecitabine), which in some cases can prolong the life of patients whose tumor could not be cured by standard methods. Xeloda is available in tablets, and it is less toxic than conventional chemotherapy drugs.

A universal cure for cancer?

The drug larotrectinib (larotrectinib), produced by Loxo Oncology Inc. it can be used to treat various types of oncological diseases of children and adults – but it is effective only in the presence of a certain mutation. This mutation occurs in less than 1% of cancer cases, and it is not yet known how oncologists will detect it, because genetic examination of the tumor has not yet become a routine procedure.

The study of larotrectinib involved 50 patients with 17 different types of cancer. 76% of the volunteers – an unexpectedly large proportion – responded to treatment, and the progress of the disease stopped. Side effects from the use of the drug included increased fatigue and light dizziness.

The manufacturing company plans to obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on the results of these tests. Last month, the FDA announced that the drug for immunotherapy Keytruda (Keytruda, pembrolizumab) can be used in both pediatric and adult oncological practice if the tumor has certain genetic characteristics, but larotrectinib should be the first drug developed specifically for this purpose.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  07.06.2017

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