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Lung Cancer. 2003 Apr;40(1):73-6.

Dramatic effect of ZD1839 ('Iressa') in a patient with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer and poor performance status.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, Okayama University Medical School, 2-5-1 Shikatacho, Okayama, 700-8558, Japan.


We describe the case of a 52-year-old Japanese woman with advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung, in whom once-daily treatment with 250 mg ZD1839 ('Iressa') demonstrated a marked antitumour effect. She had initially achieved a partial response with cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy, but had subsequently progressed and had failed to respond to salvage chemotherapy. She had also received whole-brain irradiation for brain metastases. On admission, the patient was confined to bed due to dyspnoea and had rapidly progressing hypoxia secondary to lymphangitis carcinomatosa and a massive right pleural effusion. She was treated with oxygen supplementation and oral ZD1839, which, within a week, led to marked tumour regression and gradually improving dyspnoea. The main adverse event observed was a grade 2 rash. A month after starting ZD1839 treatment, the patient was discharged without the need for oxygen supplementation and had since returned to full-time work. This is a demonstration of ZD1839 producing a dramatic clinical response when administered to a patient with poor performance status who had received extensive prior treatment with cytotoxic agents.'Iressa' is a trademark of the AstraZeneca group of companies.

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