FDA approves personalized therapy for tough-to-treat colorectal cancer

July 26th, 2012 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) There’s new hope for colorectal cancer (CRC) patients with the US FDA approving the first personalized therapy for its treatment. More than 42,000 new CRC are estimated to occur in India in 2012, doctors say.

The FDA nod for Erbitux is based on data from a large scale patient study titled CRYSTAL (Cetuximab combined with iRinotecan in first-line therapY for metaSTatic colorectAL cancer) conducted outside the U.S, said an official release announcing the approval.

“The totality of the data from CRYSTAL, along with data from other Erbitux trials, provide compelling and consistent evidence of the benefit of Erbitux in the treatment of KRAS mutation negative (wild-type) EGFR-expressing mCRC,” said Ashok Vaid, Chairman of the Medanta Cancer Institute, Gurgaon.

Colorectal cancer occurs when the disease has spread to at least one distant organ and tissues, such as the liver, lungs, lining of the abdomen or ovaries. Generally, only 12 percent of patients affected with this form of the disease survive beyond five years.

However, once they were treated with cetuximab (Erbitux), combined with the chemotherapy currently in use, the patients’ survival rate had gone up to as much as 20 percent and with significant decrease in the risk of disease progression compared to patients receiving only the present line of chemotherapy, found an analysis of the study data against the advanced stage of cancer centres.

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