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How long does it take for Xalkori to work?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Nov 3, 2022.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

We can estimate from graphs plotting progression-free survival that Xalkori starts to work within approximately 2 months, but most trials report on how long Xalkori keeps a person’s cancer from getting worse, not how quickly it works. This is called progression-free survival.

  • In one study of 343 people with ALK + NSCLC, the average progression-free survival was 10.9 months for the 172 patients treated with Xalkori, compared to 7 months for the 171 patients treated with chemotherapy.
  • 74% of patients saw their tumors respond to Xalkori — compared to 45% of patients taking chemotherapy.
  • 3 patients in the Xalkori group had all signs of cancer disappear (known as a complete response, but this does not mean that the cancer is cured) compared with 2 patients in the chemotherapy group.
  • 125 of the 172 patients in the Xalkori group had a partial response, which means the spread of cancer lessened, or tumors shrank compared to 75 of the 171 patients in the chemotherapy group.
  • However, no significant difference in overall survival has been noted between patients taking Xalkori and chemotherapy.

When Xalkori was used to treat patients with ROS1+ NSCLC that had spread to other parts of their body:

  • 66% of people taking Xalkori saw their tumors respond or shrink
  • One patient had all signs of cancer disappear (known as a complete response, but this does not mean that the cancer is cured)
  • 32 of 50 patients had the spread of cancer lessened, or had tumors that shrank over 30% (known as a partial response)
  • The length of time these partial and complete responses lasted before the tumors resumed growing or spreading was a median period of 18.3 months.

Note that in this trial Xalkori was not compared to another medication.

Regular scans by your cancer care team will reveal whether your tumor is responding to treatment with Xalkori. Keep taking Xalkori exactly as directed until your healthcare provider tells you to stop.

Xalkori) is an oral prescription medicine used to treat people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body and is caused by a defect in either a gene called ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) or a gene called ROS1. Xalkori may also be used to treat anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a type of blood cancer and unresectable, recurrent, or refractory ALK-positive inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMT) in adults and children over the age of 1 year.

References
  • Xalkori (crizotinib). Updated 01/2022. Pfizer Laboratories Div Pfizer Inc. https://www.drugs.com/pro/xalkori.html

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