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Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Lung cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This meta-analysis aimed to establish the incidence of severe and fatal side effects associated with crizotinib (Xalkori) in patients with ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The authors concluded that crizotinib does not increase the risk of severe or fatal side effects compared to chemotherapy.

Some background

The emergence of targeted therapy has been beneficial for treating non-small-cell lung cancer. Targeted therapy uses drugs which act on specific genetic mutations (changes) involved in an individual patients’ cancer. Crizotinib is a form of targeted therapy that blocks mutations called ALK and ROS1. It has become a highly recommended drug for patients with ALK-positive NSCLC. While several studies mention that crizotinib can cause severe or fatal side effects, there is limited data on the incidence.

Methods & findings

This meta-analysis combined data to estimate the incidence of severe (SAE) or fatal side effects (FAE) from crizotinib in patients with ALK-positive NSCLC.  Severe adverse effects were considered a grade 3 or 4 side effect.

11 studies were included with a combined 1924 patients. The incidence of SAEs was 19.9% among all patients. Asian patients had the lowest incidence of 11.5%. The incidence of FAEs was 1.54% among all patients.

There was no significant difference in the incidence of SAEs and FAEs from treatment with crizotinib and treatment with chemotherapy.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that crizotinib does not increase the risk of SAEs and FAEs in patients with ALK-positive NSCLC compared to chemotherapy.

Published By :


Date :

Jun 09, 2017

Original Title :

Meta-analysis of incidence and risk of severe adverse events and fatal adverse events with crizotinib monotherapy in patients with ALK-positive NSCLC.

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