According to results of an early online publication in the Annals of Oncology, treatment with the chemotherapy agent Abraxane® (albumin-bound paclitaxel) produces significant anticancer activity and is well tolerated in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer who have not received prior therapies.
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 control their symptoms 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 drug’s active ingredient into the cancer cells with reduced incidence of side effects compared to its original form. Abraxane continues to be evaluated for the treatment of several types of cancers.
Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina recently conducted a clinical trial to evaluate Abraxane as a single agent in the treatment of advanced NSCLC. This trial included 43 patients who had not received prior therapy for their disease.
- Anticancer responses were achieved in 16% of patients.
- Disease control was achieved in nearly half of the patients (49%).
- Half of the patients had not experienced disease progression at six months.
- At one year, 45% of patients were still alive.
- Treatment with Abraxane was well tolerated.
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The researchers concluded that treatment with Abraxane as a single agent produced significant anticancer responses and was well tolerated in advanced NSCLC. The authors suggest that higher doses of Abraxane or the use of Abraxane with other agents would be the next logical steps in the treatment of NSCLC. Patients with NSCLC may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of participation in a clinical trial further evaluating Abraxane or other novel therapeutic approaches. Two sources of information regarding ongoing clinical trials include the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov) and www.cancerconsultants.com.
Reference: Green MR, Manikhas GM, Orlov S, et al. Abraxance®, a novel Cremophor®-free, albumin-bound particle form of paclitaxel for the treatment of advanced non–small cell lung cancer. Annals of Oncology. 2006;June 1;[Epub ahead of print].
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