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Dr. David Spigel, from the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, discusses the rapidly evolving non-small cell lung cancer treatment landscape.
David Spigel, MD, director of Lung Cancer Research at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, discusses the evolving landscape for treating patients with refractory non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), specifically with the EGFR targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) erlotinib (Tarceva).
Spigel explains that erlotinib is available to all patients with refractory NSCLC and is now commonly being used in the first-line setting for patients with activated EGFR mutations.
In a recent randomized phase II study, the combination of erlotinib and the VEGF receptor inhibitor pazopanib improved progression-free survival for patients with advanced NSCLC, compared to erlotinib alone. These results suggest that erlotinib has a clearly defined role in the treatment of patients with refractory NSCLC; however, additional studies are needed to define an exact patient population.
Spigel remains unsure if VEGF receptor TKIs, like pazopanib, will continue to be developed for patients with NSCLC. In general, low efficacy or toxicity issues have resulted in a lack of interest for many of these agents. Whether pazopanib is developed further for NSCLC still remains unclear, Spigel believes.