Recent Drug Approvals Offer New Options for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Genitourinary Cancers, and More

September 27, 2017 by Kathleen Wiley RN, MSN, AOCNS®

Cancer treatment options continue to multiply as 2017 continues, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granting multiple new drug approvals and broadening indications for others. Oncology clinicians and nurses are challenged with staying abreast of treatment option expansions and navigating the dynamic field of cancer treatment to effectively navigate their patients through the treatment trajectory, educating on vital points relative to treatment, minimizing morbidity and mortality, and optimizing quality of life. Following is an overview of the latest approvals for the second quarter of 2017.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

Osimertinib for epidermal growth factor receptor and T790 mutation-positive NSCLC

Brigatinib for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive NSCLC

Ceritinib for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive NSCLC

Pembrolizumab with pemetrexed and carboplatin for metastatic nonsquamous NSCLC

Dabrafenib plus trametinib for BRAF-V600E mutation

Breast Cancer

Palbociclib for hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer in combination with an aromatase inhibitor

Genitourinary Cancers

Avelumab for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma

Durvalumab for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma

Pembrolizumab for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma

Gastrointestinal Cancers

Regorafenib for hepatocellular carcinoma

Gynecologic Cancers

Niraparib for recurrent ovarian and fallopian cancers and primary peritoneal cancer

Hematologic Malignancies

Midostaurin for Flt3-positive acute myeloid leukemia

Rituxan hycela for follicular lymphoma, diffuse large B cell lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic lymphoma

Premedicate with antihistamine and acetaminophen.

Dermatologic Cancers

Avelumab for metastatic merkel cell carcinoma

Trends in new approvals indicate that genetic and mutation testing is becoming an integral component in planning treatment. Decisions will heavily rely on antigens and mutations expressed by tumor cells, and oncology nurses will need to understand mutations common in certain cancer types and testing implications.


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