According to results presented at the 10th World Conference on Lung Cancer, RSR13 (efaproxiral) appears to improve responses to radiation therapy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, claiming the lives of more people than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a type of lung cancer that refers to the type of cell within the lung that the cancer originated. Approximately 80% of lung cancers are of non-small cell type origin. Locally advanced NSCLC means that cancer has spread from its site of origin but not to distant sites in the body. Standard therapy for locally advanced NSCLC may consist of a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Since the survival rates of NSCLC remain dismal, researchers continue to evaluate different treatment combinations and novel approaches in order to improve duration of survival and/or quality of life in patients with this disease.
RSR13 is an agent that is referred to as a radiosensitizer. Radiation therapy tends to provide better anti-cancer responses in tissue that has sufficient amounts of oxygen. A common property of cancer cells is hypoxia, a reduction or absence of oxygen, resulting in inferior responses to radiation. RSR13 has the potential to aid in the delivery of oxygen from the blood to hypoxic cells, ultimately sensitizing them to the effects of radiation therapy and providing optimal outcomes. RSR13 has not yet been approved by the FDA and is still being evaluated in clinical trials.
Recently, 2 clinical trials were conducted to evaluate different treatment regimens for locally advanced NSCLC. Patients in these trials had NSCLC that was not considered operable. Patients were treated with one of 3 regimens: RSR13 plus radiation (following 2 courses of induction chemotherapy), concurrent chemotherapy plus radiation therapy (chemotherapy and radiation given at the same time), or sequential chemotherapy and radiation therapy chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy). The average duration of survival was 20.6 months for those treated with RSR13, 17.9 months for those treated with concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and 15.1 months for those treated with sequential chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Treatment with RSR13 was very well tolerated.
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The researchers concluded that RSR13 appears to augment activity in the treatment of patients with NSCLC. RSR13 added to sequential chemotherapy and radiation therapy may improve responses compared to chemotherapy and radiation therapy alone. Patients with inoperable locally advanced NSCLC may wish to speak with their physician about the risks and benefits of participation in a clinical trial further evaluating RSR13 or other therapeutic approaches. Two sources of information regarding ongoing clinical trials include the National Cancer Institute (
www.cancerconsultants.com. Personalized clinical trial searches on behalf of patients are also performed by cancerconsultants.com.
Reference: Allos Therapeutics, Inc. Allos announces presentation of RSR13 data in NSCLC at 10th world conference on lung cancer. Accessed August 14, 2003. Available at:
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