Compound improves chemo effectiveness

Compound improves chemo effectiveness

A new compound has been discovered which has proved successful in the treatment of a certain type of lung cancer.

An international clinical trial led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other institutions has revealed that the compound, selumetinib, can improve the length of survival as well as the response to treatment in those with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The study followed 87 people with NSCLC where the tumours carried a mutation of the gene KRAS, something that occurs in 20 per cent of NSCLC cases, treating some with selumetinib and others with a placebo.

Those taking selumetinib had an improved response rate of 37 per cent and a survival period of 9.4 months compared to 5.2 months, while the placebo group saw no change,.

"This clinical trial demonstrates that a combination of chemotherapy and selumetinib is significantly better than chemotherapy alone for this group of patients – better in terms of tumour response to therapy and in terms of survival times prior to advance of the disease," said Dr Pasi A Janne, scientific co-director of Dana-Farber's Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science.

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