New oral agent for lung cancer offers survival benefit

December 13, 2004

The remarkable advances in the treatment of cancer allow us to use terms like remission and cure, but, regrettably, some of these most effective therapies tend to wipe out the patient along with the disease. And so, researchers scramble to fill the great unmet need of developing the "wonder" drug-one that holds the promise of both efficacy and tolerability. For non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), many have placed their hopes on a new class of agents that inhibit various growth factors. Iressa (gefitinib/AstraZeneca) was the first from the class to be approved, and Tarceva (erlotinib) is the latest.