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A new hope can be seen for the patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as researchers at Tongji University in China have recently revealed that the cancer drug Erlotinib can triple their survival rate without any progressing of disease.
The data of the theory had been published in The Lancet Oncology, according to which the patients suffering from tumors containing faults in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene, who had been taking the cancer drug had 13.1 months survival rate and that too without tumors progressing whereas on the other hand, the patients, who had been taking the standard chemotherapy regimen of gemcitabine and carboplatin for their treatment had only 4.6 months survival.
The researchers studied total 165 cancer patients in the clinical trial and found that the patients prescribed erlotinib (also known as Tarceva) showed fewer side effects. Erlotinib basically comes under one of a group of drugs known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).
Regarding the situation, Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK's Chief Clinician, said, "We've known for some time that people with a specific gene fault are more likely to have a good response to drugs such as erlotinib and gefitinib. These faults are more common in patients in the Far East. This is another example of how understanding the molecular changes in cancer cells can be used to guide treatment for patients as we move into the era of more personalised medicine."