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Therapy Effective For Older And African-American Lung Cancer Patients

Update Date: Nov 26, 2014 10:03 AM EST

Food and Drug Administration-approved therapy could be effective in treating both older and African American patients suffering from advanced lung cancer who may not be candidates for chemotherapy, according to a new study. 

According to researchers, gefitinib, a drug that targets and interrupts signaling through the epidermal growth factor receptor and is used to control the progression of cancer, could help patients with non-small cell lung cancer, which has few treatment options.

"The epidermal growth factor receptor has been found in higher quantities in a variety of solid tumors, including non-small cell lung cancer," added Nagla Karim, MD, PhD, associate professor in the division of hematology oncology at the UC College of Medicine and member of the Cincinnati Cancer Center and the UC Cancer Institute. "Gefitinib is a safe oral agent that may be of benefit to a specific population of these patients.

"Improving the quality of life for patients with this type of lung cancer is an important goal as there is currently no beneficial treatment for them and chemotherapy is often not an option because of their poor health status."

The study considered 12 patients who had advanced non-small cell lung cancer with poor prognosis and hadn't undergone chemotherapy. 

The findings of the study were published in the journal Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology. 

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