Friday, January 24, 2014

Gefitinib - Non-small cell lung cancer

Gefitinib is used to treat some people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

It only works for NSCLCs that have changes called EGFR mutations on the surface of their cells. EGFR mutations are most likely to occur in NSCLC in:

  • women
  • people who have never smoked
  • people with adenocarcinoma (a specific type of NSCLC)
  • people of Asian origin.
Tests may be done to check the level of EGFR. These will help you and your doctors decide if you're likely to benefit from gefitinib. Testing can be done at the time the cancer is diagnosed, or samples of cancer cells from previous biopsies or surgery may be used.

If you live in Northern Ireland, speak to your cancer specialist about whether gefitinib is recommended to treat your type of cancer.

What Gefitinib looks like

Gefitinib is a brown, round tablet, coated with a film.

Hows Gefitinib works

Gefitinib works by blocking (inhibiting) signals within the cancer cells that make them grow and divide. Blocking the signals causes the cells to die.