The FDA has approved oral topotecan (Hycamtin capsules) for patients with relapsed small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
This agent is indicated for patients who have had a complete or partial response to first-line chemotherapy and who are at least 45 days from the end of that treatment.
The capsules, to be available in 2008, are the only oral single-agent chemotherapy agent approved for SCLC after first-line therapy has been unsuccessful.
Hycamtin is a topoisomerase I (topo-I) inhibitor. Topo-I is a naturally produced protein essential for cell division in both normal and cancer cells. Interaction between topo-I and Hycamtin results in permanent damage to the cell’s genetic material and in the death of dividing cells. The capsules have a mild-to-moderate nonhematological toxicity profile.
(Source: GlaxoSmithKline, October 15, 2007.)