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Pfizer trials lung-cancer inhibitor


Phase 3 trials of the c-Met and ALK inhibitor PF-02341066 for patients suffering advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have been announced by Pfizer Oncology.

The patients all carry the ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinases) fusion gene and have already progressed on one treatment with a platinum-based chemotherapy.

PF-02341066 inhibits the ATP-competitive, small molecule c-Met (mesenchymal epithelial transition) growth factor and ALK tyrosine kinases. Both are linked to several cancers, including NSCLC.

Some NSCLC patients carry a unique mutation in which the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4) gene is fused to ALK, also known as an EML4-ALK translocation.

The latter has been reported in 3% to 7% of NSCLC patients, rising to 10% to 20% among those with adenocarcinoma histology, and represents one of the newest molecular targets.

Says Pfizer’s Oncology Business Unit spokesman Dr Mace Rothenberg: “By focusing on the subset of patients whose lung cancers carry the EML4-ALK translocation, we will be in the best position to determine the clinical effects of PF-02341066, both good and bad, in comparison to standard chemotherapy.”

Updated data from a Phase 1 study were featured at the ECCO15/ESMO34 meeting in Berlin, Germany.

Copyright Press Association 2009


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