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 May 13, 2005
U.S. Ends Lung Cancer Drug Trial
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The National Cancer Institute says it's ended its Phase III clinical trials of the AstraZeneca lung cancer drug Iressa (gefitinib) because the drug has failed to prolong patients' lives.

Iressa was being tested as a way to extend the lives of patients who had completed chemotherapy. Its 2003 approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was conditioned on additional clinical testing.

The drug had been designed to inhibit an enzyme, tyrosine kinase, that's important to the growth of cancer cells, the National Cancer Institute said in a statement.

Last December, AstraZeneca announced that ongoing trials found that the drug did not help patients live longer. According to the Associated Press, the company subsequently withdrew an application to sell the drug in Europe.

Results from the most recent trials will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting next month.


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