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LCA Applauds FDA Approval of Tarceva as Maintenance Treatment

Washington, DC [April 20, 2010] --Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) applauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Tarceva® (erlotinib) as a maintenance treatment for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.  The new approval of Traceva was based on data from the SATURN study that shows that as a maintenance therapy Tarvaca significantly extended overall survival and improved the time people lived without the disease getting worse. 

LCA has been on the forefront of advocating for increased treatment options for the lung cancer community, including the expanded use of Tarceva.  In January of 2010, LCA submitted a statement in support of this approval at the FDA Drug Evaluation and Research Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) meeting: 

“Approval of Tarceva in a maintenance setting allows patients to build upon the momentum from a positive result after first line treatments and gain a heightened sense of control of their lung cancer.  Additionally, with Tarceva’s portability and often less serious side effects, late stage lung cancer survivors have a renewed sense of freedom and often have the ability to resume a lifestyle more similar to that before diagnosis.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of all cancer death in the United States.  Over 70% of lung cancers are diagnosed at advanced stage.  The five year survival rate for lung cancer has hovered at 15% for over four decades.  Tarceva, in the maintenance setting, provides a treatment option that will not only positively impact the time of survival for lung cancer patients, but also will allow survivors to spend that time doing things they love and not being hooked up to an IV in a hospital.”