Erbitux fails pancreatic cancer trial
ImClone Systems Inc. said on Tuesday that a late-stage trial of its cancer drug Erbitux failed to improve overall survival in patients with pancreatic cancer, sending its shares down 8 percent. via News.moneycentral.msn.com
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Since: Dec 05
#1 Apr 12, 2007
Targeted drugs are specifically designed to block one or more critical pathways involved in cancer-cell growth and metastases. The development of these therapies stems from advances in molecular biology that have permitted the identification of qualitative and quantitative differences in gene expression between cancer cells and normal cells.
The new agents range from antibodies that form complexes with antigens on the surface of the cancer cell to small molecules that have been engineered to block key enzymatic reactions within the cell. The interaction of the antibody or drug with its target inhibits pathways that are essential for cell proliferation or metastasis or activates pathways that culminate in cell death (apoptosis).
Since these targets are usually specific for or overexpressed in cancer cells, the new agents generally have fewer side effects than most conventional chemotherapeutic agents. However, almost all currently approved targeted agents are used in conjunction with conventional chemotherapy regimens, thereby adding costs to the health care system.
When the goal is to improve the chance for a cure, these new treatments seem well worth the expenditure, but when the goal is to improve the quality of life or delay the time to disease progression by several months, as it is with many treatments for cancer, it is less clear whether the health care system can bear these expenses.
Oncologists prescribe patients one standard empiric chemotherapy regimen after another, until they find one that works. This often can expose patients to the side effects of chemotherapy, without showing any cancer-killing results. Guesswork can be done in a laboratory instead.
The tactic of using biopsied cells to predict which cancer treatments will work best for the patient, by taking pieces of "fresh" tumor tissue, apply different chemotherapy treatments to it and examine the results to see which drug or combination of drugs do the best job killing the tumor cells.
An example of this testing, researchers have tested how well women with relapsed ovarian cancer would respond to a combination of a pancreatic cancer drug and an ovarian cancer drug. They found the combination worked on a number of women, and testing cells in petri dishes predicted which women would respond to this combination and which wouldn't.
Or a metastatic pancreatic cancer patient can be treated successfully with a combination of drugs commonly used to fight lung, pancreatic, breast and colorectal cancers.
Cell Culture Assays can report to a physician specifically which chemotherapy agent would benefit a cancer patient by testing that patientís "live" cancer cells. Drug sensitivity profiles differ significantly among cancer patients even when diagnosed with the same cancer.
Knowing the drug sensitivity profile of a specific cancer patient allows the treating oncologists to prescribe chemotherapy that will be the most effective against the tumor cells of that patient.
Tel Aviv, Israel
#2 Nov 3, 2013
Hello my father have colon cancer ,the doctor said that he need to take Erbitux medication. can some one advice me where is the best place to buy this medication?
“Peace on Earth”
Since: Sep 08
#3 Nov 17, 2013
According to the attached article which is a little old, Erbitux is a medication that is subsidized by the state of Israel. I would suggest you ask your doctor.
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