Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer, accounting for 1.2 million cases a year worldwide, while non-small cell lung cancer accounts for almost 80 % of all types of lung cancer.
European Union authorities have approved cancer pill Tarceva for use in patients with the most common form of lung cancer who have failed chemotherapy.
The Swiss drug maker Roche says the pill increases survival by two months in patients with locally-advanced or metastatic forms of non-small-cell lung cancer, helps them control symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath and improves their quality of life. The drug has been shown to improve survival by 42.5%.
Roche is planning to submit a request for approval of the drug to European Union authorities as a treatment for pancreatic cancer within the next month. It is already approved for that purpose in the United States.