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Lung cancer pill works for some

ATLANTA (AP) - A new study suggests a lung cancer drug may help
slow the disease in certain patients.

The study, which was funded by the drug's maker AstraZeneca,
followed 1,200 patients in southeast Asia.

The pool was selected to target those whose cancer has a genetic mutation Iressa had been shown to be effective against in earlier studies.

This latest report published today by the New England Journal of
Medicine study measured cancer growth within a year after
treatment.

Twenty-five percent of those on Iressa were alive without their cancer getting worse, as compared to 7 percent of those on chemo.

The daily pill more precisely targets cancer rather than healthy
cells.

It seems to work best with specific patients - Asians, women
and nonsmokers who carry the mutation.

Some experts are hopeful this latest report will encourage the FDA to allow wide use of the drug, which has been restricted because a federally sponsored study failed to show it improved survival rates.

Others are doubtful.

They say long-term survival is still in question and that the study was done only in Asia.


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