A New Job for Xalkori

Pfizer's Xalkori (crizotinib) approved to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer with tumors that have ROS-1 gene alteration

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xalkori (crizotinib) to treat patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have tumors with an ROS-1 gene alteration.

Pfizer's Xalkori was previously approved to treat NSCLC in patients whose tumors present with a different abnormal gene.

The latest approval will allow Xalkori to treat the roughly 1 percent of NSCLC patients who have an ROS-1 gene alteration, according to the FDA.

In a study of 50 patients, Xalkori was found to block the activity of the ROS-1 protein in tumors that possess an ROS-1 gene alteration, which may prevent NSCLC from spreading. Sixty-six percent of study patients had their tumors shrink while taking Xalkori.

NSCLC is a type of lung cancer. Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US, the FDA reported.

Serious side effects of Xalkori include lung inflammation, liver problems, abnormal heart rhythm and vision loss. Patients also reported minor side effects.

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Review Date: 
March 12, 2016
Last Updated:
March 14, 2016