A recent report says that the failure of surgery in some cases of lung cancers has given rise to a new first line treatment, which now needs to be funded by Pharmac.
It is being said that the drug named Gefitinib has the ability to allow people avoid chemotherapy as well as extend their lives by three to five months. Also, since, many cancers tactfully evade promising drugs and continue to develop, thereby harming patients more.
Thus, the drug is being said to be a great achievement. Though, it also has some drawbacks i. e. it cannot be given to all people with the common form of lung cancer.
This non-squamous advanced non-small cell lung cancer affects some 2000 people each year, says Radio New Zealand in the meanwhile, and 90%of them tend to die because of growing the same up to advanced stage.
However, the drug would be given only to those passing epidermal growth factor receptor test. It would help save minimum 100 lives each year, according to Peter Moodie, Pharmac medical director. And helping to avoid chemotherapy, Gefitinib would also help save money.
"Gefitinib and other drugs of this type, called tyrosine kinase inhibitors, have several advantages over standard chemotherapy, which is something of a blunt instrument", he adds.