Experimental Lung Cancer Drug Shows Promise

By Mei Manuel, October 17, 2017 21:10 PM


One experimental cancer drug seems to be getting close to finding a cure for lung cancer patients, especially for those whose conditions have worsened after following their treatment using approved medications.

The treatment, which is a joint development project between Hutchison China MediTech (Chi-Med) and AstraZenica, is one of the newest batch of developed medicines coming out of China as it works its way up the drug manufacturing industry.

On Tuesday, the companies showed the results of their small-scale studies while in a medical meeting in Japan. It showed that adding 'savolitinib' to either AstraZenica's Tagrisso or Iressa drugs have reported improvements in patients. Both Tagrisso and Iressa are used by patients with EGFR mutations and it is said these drugs can hold the disease at bay for a short period of time. Unfortunately, cancer cells have the capacity to adapt and develop its own resistance against medicines.

In the study done by the two firms, Savolitinib is capable of limiting cancer cells' ability to develop a resistance from medicines by targetting c-MET, an enzyme that abnormally functions in many types of tumor today. One part of the study reflected at least 28% of patients with EGFR-mutated advanced non-small cell lung cancer who used Tagrisso showed positive response when savolitinib was added in their treatment. At least 31% of Iressa users also showed positive results.

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