There are few medical professionals who regard anything more valuable than a drug that can treat childhood cancers and other life threatening diseases. And, it appears that Pfizer has now produced a lung cancer drug that appears to be a highly effective treatment for children with a rare but aggressive type of lymphoma and other cancers, according to data from an early stage study; therefore stirring hope for many.
The drug, crizotinib, was able to stall tumor growth and in some cases eradicate all signs of particularly aggressive cancers with minimal side effects, researchers said.
Crizotinib, sold under the brand name Xalkori, is approved to treat non-small cell lung cancer in patients with a specific gene mutation known as ALK. But some patients with other types of cancer have also been found to have abnormal ALK, including those suffering from anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a cancer of the lymph cells, researchers said.
In the study conducted by the Children’s Oncology Group, seven of eight children with ALCL had a complete response to the drug, meaning no cancer could be detected with imaging scans.
“It’s remarkable that this targeted oral medication provided such a substantial benefit in these children with highly aggressive cancers, most of whom had already undergone every available therapy,” Dr Yael Mosse, the study’s lead researcher from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a statement.[related_posts limit=”5″]