RTOG 0617: Stunningly Worse Survival for High Dose Radiation in Locally Advanced NSCLC, but Carbo-Taxol Has Never Looked Better

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The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) has been working on a large randomized trial in patients with stage III, locally advanced, unresectable NSCLC that asked two key questions:

1) is the best dose of radiation the "old" standard of 60 Gray (Gy), over about 6 weeks, or a higher dose of 74 Gy that has been found to be feasible?

2) Is there a value in adding weekly Erbitux (cetuximab), the antibody to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), along with weekly carboplatin/Taxol (paclitaxel) and concurrent chest radiation therapy (RT)?

More Info on the Correlation of Rash with Outcome on EGFR Inhibitors: My Changing View in Light of the TOPICAL Trial

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There's been a theme with the inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) -- both oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and IV monoclonal antibodies -- that the patients who demonstrate good results with these agents tend to get a rash, while the patients who don't get a rash do poorly.

The Evolving Role of Molecular Markers in the Management of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

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The Importance of Identifying Molecular Markers in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer To understand the importance of molecular markers in the current and future treatment of lung cancer, one should first understand how lung cancer was classified up until the beginning of this decade. Pathologists would look at a sample of a patient's lung tumor under a microscope, and then make a judgment of whether the cells represented small cell lung cancer (SCLC) or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Lung Cancer FAQ: What is EGFR, and what are the molecular tests related to it?

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EGFR stands for epidermal growth factor receptor, which is a molecule on the surface of many cancer cells that can be activated to activate signals that promote cell growth and cell division. Though this target may play a role for many kinds of cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one type in which this target protein is seen in a majority of people's cancers.