For the last week, I have been feverishly working on my next feature article. It is a case study on the effectiveness of crizotinib for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). I have been co-writing with one of our advisory board members, and I think this will be an interesting read, especially if you have a patient with NSCLC, or another form of cancer, that might benefit from treatment with crizotinib.

You might recall reading a recently published paper by Dr. Alice T. Shaw and her co-investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGN) in which they define the role of a newly identified gene abnormality – ROS1 rearrangement – in the NSCLC patient population. The paper was published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, but was first available online in January. In this paper, Shaw and her co-authors treated NSCLC patients and found that approximately 2% of their patients had ROS1 rearrangement and that they responded well to crizotinib as a second-line treatment. In fact, one of the ROS1-positive patients, who served as a case study in the paper, made a dramatic clinical improvement within weeks of starting crizotinib.

Please keep in mind that Shaw’s paper only presented one case study, which was with crizotinib, and was originally indicated for treatment of ALK-positive NSCLC. Will crizotinib be just as successful in the case study I am writing? Please check for my feature article this Thursday afternoon.

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ChemotherapyAdvisor also published two great news stories on crizotinib last week. One news story, entitled “Possible Survival Increase for ALK-positive NSCLC Treated with Crizotinib”, was based on a poster presented at AACR last week. The presentation was about a study in which researchers tested a large cohort of NSCLC patients for ALK, EGFR, and KRAS abnormalities and correlated clinical factors with the ALK fusion gene and overall survival (OS). In the second news story, entitled “Pfizer Researchers Develop New Test for ALK”, a new molecular screening test for the ALK gene was shown to be less labor-intensive and less costly than the current methods.

Have you ever treated your patients with crizotinib?

How were your clinical experiences with the drug?  

We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below! If you have a case study or a more extended response to this subject, click here to submit an item for us to publish.