Oral Topotecan (Hycamtin) For Relapsing Small Cell Lung Cancer

HycamtinThe 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.)