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Published on 19 April 2010

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Targeted cancer drug tests issued


Pharmaceutical company Amgen has made significant strides towardstargeted use of its colon cancer drug Vectibix, research has shown.

The firm carried out an analysis of mutations caused by the conditionto see whether they could get a clearer definition of which patientswould benefit from the treatment.

While the study said little about the kind of people who should takethe drug, it did much to further define those who should not, Amgen’sDr David Reese said.

Vectibix, known generically as panitumumab, attacks a gene called EGFR, which is mutated by several types of cancer.

Patients who have a mutation in another gene called KRAS are not helped by Vectibix, the investigation found.

Dr Reese said the research showed that sequencing, whereby a largenumber of mutations are looked at all at once, was a valuable tool inthe campaign to target cancer treatments.

Copyright Press Association 2010

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