Lilly’s Gemzar Drug Slows Cervical Cancer’s Spread, Study Shows
By Elizabeth Lopatto
May 31 (Bloomberg) — Cervical cancer patients who received Eli Lilly & Co.’s Gemzar along with standard therapy were less likely to have their disease spread within three years, a company-funded study showed.
Almost three-quarters of the women who received both Gemzar and chemoradiation didn’t worsen, compared with about two-thirds of patients on chemoradiation alone, according to the research, which was presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual scientific meeting in Orlando, Florida. Chemoradiation, the standard treatment, itself combines radiation and chemotherapy.
Cervical cancer, the second-most-lethal cancer affecting women worldwide, results in about 288,000 fatalities a year, according to the World Health Organization, based in Geneva. Gemzar is approved to treat cervical cancer in Mexico, Chile and Ukraine, and is used in the U.S. for lung, breast, pancreatic and ovarian cancer, said Richard Gaynor, the vice president of cancer research for Indianapolis-based Lilly.
“When we were first getting Gemzar on the market, no one thought about this,” Gaynor said in a telephone interview. “Knowledge keeps happening, and not just early on in cancer drugs but after they’ve been on the market for a while.”
Gemzar received U.S. marketing approval in 1996, and its patent will expire by 2013. Lilly recorded worldwide sales of $1.72 billion on the drug in 2008. Gaynor said he didn’t know if the study data would be submitted in a request for approval to market the drug for use against cervical cancer in the U.S.
See list of side effects on Chemocare.com
Comment from Leslie
The thrust should be on cervical cancer screening, lifestyle changes, nutrition, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, wellness – not on more fear factor with good news about a new drug. Gemzar side effects are as horrible as HPV vaccine side effects.