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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluation of Irinotecan as a Third- or Fourth-line Treatment for Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. There are two major types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which comprises approximately 85% of all lung cancers, and small cell lung cancer. Currently, the most prevalent third- and fourth- line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer is cisplatin-based therapy. This form of therapy has been long established as the chief treatment for advanced NSCLC; however, cisplatin-based therapy also impairs the replication of beneficial cells. Furthermore, insufficient research has been conducted regarding alternative third- and fourth-line treatments. We plan to test the efficacy of irinotecan, a drug that inhibits nuclear enzymes associated with DNA replication and transcription, as a third- or fourth-line treatment for advanced NSCLC in a phase III study. Irinotecan could provide NSCLC patients with an alternative treatment with lower risk of excessive toxicity. Furthermore, this study would supply the foundation for future research concerning later-line treatments for advanced NSCLC.

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