New drug offers hope for those with lung cancer

Clinicians can now offer their patients the first targeted oral therapy to be approved for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The FDA recently approved gefitinib (Iressa, AstraZeneca) as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC after failure of both platinum-based and docetaxel chemotherapies. Gefitinib was reviewed and approved under the Agency?s accelerated approval program. The drug is currently available in pharmacies.