Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.

Selected Research

Erlotinib in Previously Treated Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Frances A. Shepherd, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine, 7-14-05

Erlotinib (brand name: Tarceva) is a targeted cancer drug that attacks cancers that express a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or HER1. In this randomized, double-blind placebo controlled study, patients with late-stage cancer who had already been treated with two rounds of chemotherapy were given either erlotinib or a placebo. The researchers concluded that “erlotinib can prolong survival in patients with non–small-cell lung cancer after first-line or second-line chemotherapy.”

The response rate was 8.9 percent in the erlotinib group and less than 1 percent in the placebo group…the median duration of the response was 7.9 months and 3.7 months, respectively. Progression-free survival was 2.2 months and 1.8 months, respectively…Overall survival was 6.7 months and 4.7 months, respectively… in favor of erlotinib. Five percent of patients discontinued erlotinib because of toxic effects.

Project FDA.
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