Hope for Targeted Lung-Cancer Treatment

April 19, 2010

The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON—An unusual clinical trial involving four different drugs offered promise that guiding treatment based on the molecular traits of a tumor can improve survival from lung cancer.

Researchers said the study amounted to "proof of concept" for a new approach to clinical trials that could improve the efficiency of cancer-drug development and eventually shorten the time it takes to get new treatments to market.

The study, called Battle, involved 255 patients with advanced lung cancer, an especially lethal disease in which until recently average survival on chemotherapy was about eight months. New drugs, including so-called targeted medicines such as Tarceva, co-marketed by OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Roche Holding AG, have achieved some improvement in survival, but typically in only a fraction of patients... read more