Recent research published in The New England Journal of Medicine has revealed a potentially life-saving medication for lung cancer patients. Osimertinib, marketed as Tagrisso, has demonstrated remarkable results in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence and death for patients with Stage 1B-3A lung cancer who have undergone surgery to remove cancerous tumors. According to the study, Tagrisso can reduce the five-year risk of recurrent cancer by up to 73% and the risk of death by up to 51%.
Traditionally, medical oncologists were content with improvements of 5% or 10% in survival rates. However, the significant improvement seen with Tagrisso is considered groundbreaking in the field of oncology. Dr. Faiz Y. Bhora, a chief thoracic surgeon, applauds the advancement, stating, “We’re truly in the era of personalized medicine. We now have a lot of targeted therapies that work well for patients who have mutations in their tumors.”
To be eligible for Tagrisso, patients must have a specific genetic mutation known as EGFRm and have undergone surgery to remove the tumor. However, even patients with stage 4 lung cancer can still benefit from the medication if they possess the EGFR mutation, regardless of whether they have had surgery or not. Determining the presence of the mutation requires a tissue sample test or a blood test, with results typically obtained within a span of 10 to 21 days.
Lung cancer is often associated with smoking, but studies show that over 30% of individuals who develop lung cancer have never smoked. Dr. Bhora stresses the importance of being aware that lung cancer can affect anyone, including women who have never smoked. With the availability of innovative medications like Tagrisso, the future appears promising for lung cancer patients.
What is Tagrisso?
Tagrisso is a medication known as osimertinib, which is used for the treatment of lung cancer. It is particularly effective for patients with Stage 1B-3A lung cancer and a genetic mutation called EGFRm.
How does Tagrisso work?
Tagrisso works by preventing cancer recurrence after surgery in patients with the EGFR mutation. It is considered a targeted therapy that specifically addresses tumors with this genetic mutation.
What are the benefits of Tagrisso?
Research has shown that Tagrisso can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence by up to 73% and the risk of death by up to 51% for eligible lung cancer patients. It offers new hope and improved outcomes for those who previously had limited treatment options.
What are the potential side effects of Tagrisso?
Some common side effects of Tagrisso include a skin rash, diarrhea, and fatigue. However, these side effects are typically manageable, and the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks for most patients.
How do I know if I’m eligible for Tagrisso?
Patients need to undergo a genetic mutation test to determine if they have the EGFR mutation. This can be done through either a tissue sample or a blood test. Consultation with an experienced team of physicians is recommended to discuss eligibility and potential treatment options.