Georgia Cancer Specialists Offers New Clinical Trial of Crizotinib for Lung Cancer Patients

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

GCS the Only Site in Georgia to Offer Promising New Drug as First-line Treatment for Lung Cancer Patients with EML4-ALK Translocation

Dr. Mansoor SalehGeorgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) – a Top 10 private cancer practice in the U.S. – is the only site in Georgia to offer a clinical trial of the drug Crizotinib as a first-line treatment for a unique form of lung cancer most frequently encountered in non-smokers. 

The promising new drug specifically targets those tumors that carry a translocation on chromosome 2 (the EML4-ALK translocation), which is observed in 2-3% of all patients with lung cancer but in nearly 15% of patients with lung cancer who are non-smokers or only light-smokers. 

Dr. Mansoor Saleh, principal investigator and director of clinical research at Georgia Cancer Specialists said, “Approximately 2-3% of patients who develop lung cancer are non-smokers or only light-smokers. This drug is an extremely promising treatment for those patients with the EML4-ALK translocation. In early trials nearly 90% of patients experienced a clinical benefit, a rather remarkable outcome.” 

He explained that the trial is a Phase III randomized, open-label study of the efficacy and safety of Crizotinib versus standard cisplatin/pemetrexed or carboplatin/pemetrexed in previously untreated patients with non-squamous carcinoma of the lung harboring the EML4-ALK translocation. Even more importantly, all patients in this trial will get the study drug because this randomized trial has a crossover arm whereby patients who were randomized to the chemotherapy arm would receive the study agent at the time of disease progression, Dr. Saleh said.  

This new study expands the clinical trial repertoire at Georgia Cancer Specialists. A study of Crizotinib for a similar patient population that has previously failed conventional chemotherapy is already ongoing.

“This is a win-win study for patients who have this translocation and a better option than any chemo we could offer,” he said.

Georgia Cancer Specialists is a Top 10 private cancer practice in the U.S. and a leader in advanced cancer treatment and research. The practice supports more than 200,000 patient visits each year. GCS offers community-based medical oncology and hematology services and is the first private oncology practice to also provide a full range of support services for patients in Georgia, including nutritional counseling, pain management, wellness counseling, and home health coordination. The GCS research department, whose focus is bringing targeted cancer therapy to communities, is the first in Georgia to offer Phase I clinical trials, the most novel cancer therapies available. GCS has 29 offices, 44 physicians, and more than 500 support staff members located in Metro Atlanta, North and Central Georgia, Southeast Tennessee, and Southwest North Carolina. Georgia Cancer Specialists can be found on the web at GCS is The Cancer Answer.

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