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According to the results of a phase I/II clinical trial presented at the 2006 ASCO annual meeting, Abraxane™ (albumin-bound paclitaxel) reduces detectable cancer in 30% of patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for 75%–80% of all lung cancers. Patients with advanced NSCLC are treated with chemotherapy to alleviate the symptoms of their disease and prolong their duration of survival.

Paclitaxel is a chemotherapy drug commonly used in the treatment of several types of cancer, including NSCLC. Abraxane is a newer form of paclitaxel that is bound with albumin, a type of protein normally found in the human body. This form of paclitaxel delivers high concentrations of the active ingredient into the cancer cells with reduced incidence of side effects compared to the original form of the drug.

Abraxane is currently approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer that has not responded to combination chemotherapy or breast cancer that has relapsed within six months of adjuvant chemotherapy (prior therapy should have included an anthracycline unless clinically contraindicated). Abraxane is also being evaluated in the treatment of several other types of cancer.

To identify the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of Abraxane in advanced NSCLC, and to explore the efficacy and toxicity of Abraxane, researchers conducted a study among 40 patients with stage IV NSCLC. Patients had not previously been treated with chemotherapy for metastatic NSCLC. The researchers evaluated three different doses of Abraxane (110, 125, and 150 mg/m2) and determined that 125 mg/m2was the maximum tolerated dose.

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  • 30% of patients experienced a complete or partial reduction in detectable cancer following treatment.
  • Median survival was 10.9 months.
  • Serious adverse events related to treatment included fatigue; sensory neuropathy (sensations such as numbness, pain, or tingling); and low white blood cell count.

Based on these encouraging results, the researchers conclude that Abraxane warrants further study in the treatment of advanced NSCLC.

Reference: Rizvi NA, Azzoli C, Miller V et al. Phase I/II Study of ABI-007 as First Line Chemotherapy in Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer. Presented at the 2006 ASCO Annual Meeting. Abstract 7105.

Related News:Abraxane™ for Initial Treatment of Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (11/4/2005)

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