Pemetrexed: a new cytotoxic agent in the development for first-line non-small-cell lung cancer

G V Scagliotti
Lung Cancer: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2005, 50: S18-9
Pemetrexed is a new cytotoxic agent that is a standard of care for the second-line treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. It is currently in clinical development for the first-line treatment of NSCLC. In untreated advanced NSCLC, single-agent activity has been demonstrated in phase II trials. Pemetrexed has encouraging response rates and a favorable toxicity profile. Pemetrexed also has promising activity and acceptable toxicity when combined with platinum compounds or gemcitabine. Dietary supplementation with low-dose folic acid and vitamin B(12) significantly reduces the incidence and severity of toxicities without compromising the antitumor activity of pemetrexed. With its innovative mode of action, proven efficacy, favorable toxicity profile and convenient administration, pemetrexed represents a new therapeutic option for the treatment of advanced NSCLC.

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