Gefitinib: a pharmacoeconomic profile of its use in patients with Non Small Cell Lung Cancer EGFR+

Viola Sacchi

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7175/fe.v12i2.73

Abstract

Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer with the highest incidence worldwide. The mortality rates are highest in males and second highest in females, after breast cancer. The genetic predisposition to Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) is still under investigation, however, studies have shown that the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), a receptor tyrosine kinase is frequently over-expressed and activated to a phosphorylated state in NSCLC. The activity of EGFR in cancer cells results in the phosphorylation of downstream proteins that promote cell proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and inhibition of apoptosis. Targeting the EGFR pathway therefore constitutes a relevant strategy for cancer therapy. Gefitinib is a selective inhibitor of the EGFR tyrosine kinase and is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC with activating mutations of EGFR-TK. From the pharmacoeconomic point of view gefitinib is dominant (more effective and less expensive) compared to the alternatives. In conclusion, gefitinib is a treatment option for NSCLC tumors with a high clinical and economic value in the Italian setting.

Keywords

Gefitinib; Non Small Cell Lung Cancer; Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor

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