WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Crizotinib, a small-molecule inhibitor of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), appears to be effective in reducing or stabilizing lung tumors with ALK rearrangement, according to research published in the Oct. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Eunice L. Kwak, M.D., of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, and colleagues administered crizotinib to 82 patients with advanced ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer to explore the therapeutic efficacy of the agent for inhibiting ALK in such tumors.
The researchers found that the overall response rate was 57 percent (47 of 82 patients) at a mean treatment duration of 6.4 months, and 33 percent (27 patients) had stable disease. Forty-six of the responders had partial responses. At the time of data cutoff, 63 (77 percent) of the patients continued to receive crizotinib, with an estimated probability of six-month progression-free survival of 72 percent. Mild gastrointestinal side effects were observed.
"In conclusion, we have shown the importance and feasibility of prospective genotyping in an early clinical trial and have found that non-small-cell lung cancers with ALK rearrangement are highly sensitive to ALK kinase inhibition," the authors write.
The study was funded in part by Pfizer.