Cancer Treatments -
Helps to Determine the Effectiveness of Targeted Cancer Drugs
June 26th, 2006
Close ups of
image courtesy of Sandia
A new laboratory test that
identifies patients who benefit most from targeted cancer drugs was
introduced at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical
Oncology (ASCO) as the test's accuracy is sure to save hundreds of lives
per year. This could help solve the problem of knowing which patients
can tolerate costly, new treatments and their harmful side-effects.
These “smart” drugs do not work for everyone, and a test to determine
the efficacy of these drugs in a patient could be the first crucial step
in personalizing treatment to the individual.
According to Chemical & Engineering
News, targeted "small-molecule" therapies ruled at the annual ASCO
meeting of oncologists. The most exciting results shown came from
studies of multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors, small molecules
that act on multiple receptors in the cancerous cells, like Tykerb and
Sutent. The trend is away from the monoclonals to the small molecules, a
trend which the new EGFRx (TM) test may be able to hasten.