Zactima or Vandetanib

Zactima or Vandetanib

New ’biologic’ drug made by AstraZeneca. It is an oral targeted therapy that targets VEGF and EGFR pathways. It is being hailed as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer and costs roughly 6,500 pounds or $10,000 US a month. The mean increased survival time in research was 4 months. As with all biologics, some people may survive considerably longer.

In Phase III Clinical trials it was tested with chemotherapy agents docetaxel, (Zodiac), and pemetrexed, (Zeal), and on its own, (Zest). All with non-small cell lung cancer. It performed best in the first trial, Zodiac, and reduced symptoms of the cancer better than chemotherapy alone. It is reported to perform similarly to Tarceva. A fourth trial (Zephyr) was conducted against an oral inhibitor of EGFR and a placebo and did not appear to do very well.  

The overall results of these trials has been described by some experts

(see GRACE as ’debatable’ or ’marginal’.

Side effects are: rash, nausea and high blood pressure/hypertension.

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

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