My father was diagnosed with 3b stage lung carcinoma 2 years ago. He never
had chemo or radiation therapy, but is faring well now with the designer drug
IRESSA. The tumor has shrunken dramatically.
I heard that Astra Zeneca is taking this medicine off the market, because the
percentage of people for which it works is too low and some serious side-
effects have been reported for people with Asian genes. I wonder how this is
possible for a medicine that works great for some people, like my father.
I was wondering if his case could be used for research, because I figure right
now a big issue in cancer research is the predictability of the effects of a
Posted: 30 Sep 2005 10:28 AM Originally Posted: 29 Sep 2005 10:56 AM
Thank you for contacting the M. D. Anderson Information Line regarding IRESSA.
AstraZeneca is taking IRESSA off the market. However, patients that were already receiving IRESSA and are benefiting from it can continue taking it.
AstraZeneca is taking IRESSA off the market due to results from a phase III clinical trial titled ISEL. IRESSA did provide some increase in overall survival but the increase was not statistically significant, compared with placebo. In patients of Oriental origin IRESSA increased overall survival by four months. In patients that have never smoked the results yielded significant improvement in overall survival. AstraZeneca continues to study the results of the ISEL study. AstraZeneca is currently trying to understand why different groups of patients respond differently to IRESSA. For more information regarding IRESSA please refer to Astra Zeneca on the web at:
You will also want to contact AstraZeneca to see if they are interested in further researching your father's case.
I hope that this information is helpful. If you would like any additional information about M. D. Anderson services, programs, or appointment information, do not hesitate to contact the M. D. Anderson Information Line at 1-800-392-1611, option 3.