New U.S. Trial Starts Of Tailored Cancer Treatment

Researchers who found a genetic pattern that predicts who will be helped by a revolutionary new lung cancer drug said on Monday they were looking for patients to help them confirm their findings. The team at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston needs to find patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer to see if DNA patterns indeed show who will be helped by the drug, called Iressa. "As one of the first attempts to 'personalize' cancer therapy, this trial will be a great step forward in matching treatments with the patients most likely to benefit from them." said Dr. Thomas Lynch, director of the hospital's Thoracic Oncology Center. Iressa, known generically as gefitinib, is one of the new generation of targeted therapies against cancer. Made by AstraZeneca Plc, Iressa has excited doctors because it is the first drug to work really well against lung cancer. Most patients suffering from lung cancer are killed by the disease, which is the biggest cancer killer in most of the world.

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