Anchor lead: There’s good news for people with one type of lung cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you have non-small cell lung cancer with a receptor called EGFR, you are likely to respond to an agent called osimertinib, a new study finds. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, is excited.

Nelson: You can’t make this into anything but good news. Osimertinib is an inhibitor of this mutant epidermal growth factor receptor, EGFR, signaling system. This is an on/off switch and its stuck in the on position driving lung cancer cells to grow, so can you force it back off with a drug that’s the idea of this drug Osimertinib.  :20

Nelson says this agent is the latest of a group targeting this receptor.

Nelson: It’s the setting where these drugs and there are several of them right now might antagonize this on switch by forcing it in the off position.  :07

Nelson says the advantage to Osimertinib is it is able to penetrate the brain and spinal cord, and that’s helpful for mopping up cancer cells throughout the body. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.