ASCO Spotlight Falls on Targeted Therapies
As in previous years, targeted cancer therapies dominated the 2005 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. The appeal of targeted cancer therapies is the potential for improved efficacy and fewer adverse effects. Traditional chemotherapy agents are nonselective, targeting all rapidly dividing cells including those in the blood, gastrointestinal tract and mouth. These treatments have moderate efficacy and typically produce only palliative effects in patients with advanced disease. In contrast, targeted therapies block the growth and spread of tumors by interfering with specific molecules involved in carcinogenesis.
When it comes to targeted cancer therapeutics, many are familiar with Avastin™, Gleevec®, Herceptin®, Iressa® and Tarceva®.1 Set to join them in the spotlight are four late-stage targeted therapies: sorafenib from Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals; sunitinib from Pfizer; lapatinib from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK); and vatalanib from Novartis and Schering AG.
KeywordsSorafenib Metastatic Breast Cancer Sunitinib Lapatinib Herceptin
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- 4.European Pharmaceuticals. Major Pharmaceuticals: ASCO update — day 1 and 2 review. New York: Lehman Brothers Equity Research, 2005Google Scholar
- 5.Pfizer. New data show Pfizer’s SUTENT/SU11248 (sunitinib malate) extends overall survival in Gleevec-resistant GIST. Media release: 17 May 2005Google Scholar
- 6.Novartis. First results from PTK/ZK CONFIRM 1 trial presented at American Society of Clinical Oncology show positive drug effects in advanced colorectal cancer. Media release: 13 May 2005Google Scholar
- 7.Novartis PTK/ZK 787 data presented at ASCO; survival analysis pending. Pink Sheet 2005; 67 (22): 20Google Scholar
- 8.GlaxoSmithKline. GlaxoSmithKline issues update on lapatinib: new clinical data and regulatory filing plans. Media release: 15 May 2005Google Scholar
- 9.GSK lapatinib breast cancer development shifts to front-line setting. Pink Sheet 2005; 67 (21): 13Google Scholar