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How An Old Diabetes Drug Made A Big Splash At The Biggest Cancer Confab

(Forbes) June 7, 2018 - At the recently concluded annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) a group of researchers from Mexico City described a surprising discovery: In a phase 2 trial in patients with stage 4 lung cancer, a 24-year-old diabetes drug significantly improved survival when added to a standard therapy.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: June 07, 2018)

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This work is certainly provocative, but there are several issues that should lead us to be cautious about concluding that this should change practice. Not only was this not a large trial, but the patients in the control arm who received erlotinib alone demonstrated a response rate that was remarkably low for EGFR mutation-positive cancer, about half of what is more commonly seen. There have also been other trials that have been far less impressive but not publicized. Overall, it merits further study but needs validation before being considered a combination approach to pursue outside of an investigational strategy.

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