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Two Plus Two May Equal Better Treatment

Conquest - Spring 2009

Edward Kim, M.D., assistant professor in
M. D. Anderson’s Department of Thoracic
/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, visits
with patient Jerry Stutts.

The combination of two standard therapies and two targeted therapies proves to be safe and may improve survival for patients with advanced lung cancer, according to results of a Southwest Oncology Group Phase II study led by Edward Kim, M.D., assistant professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology.

Until now, the SWOG standard regimen for lung cancer has been a combination of two chemotherapies, carboplatin and paclitaxel, with the targeted therapy, cetuximab (Erbitux®). In this study, researchers added a second targeted therapy, bevacizumab (Avastin®), to see if they could increase the efficacy of the drugs without compromising safety.

“Our findings were certainly compelling and are the best results ever for a SWOG-based study for advanced lung cancer,” Kim says. “While early, this four-drug combination seems to show promising, yet modest improvement in efficacy without compromising patients’ safety. Our next priority will be to analyze the tissue from this study to help find appropriate biomarkers for the disease to best understand who might benefit from this drug regimen.”

SWOG is one of the largest of the National Cancer Institute-supported, cancer clinical trials cooperative groups with more than 550 institutions, including 18 of NCI’s 63 designated cancer centers, conducting research that is shared with more than 5,000 physicians across the United States.

Presented Nov. 13, 2008, at the press program of the Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center