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Will Tabrecta cure lung cancer?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Feb 15, 2023.

Official answer


No, Tabrecta is not a cure for lung cancer, but in studies some people saw their tumors shrink or disappear for more than a year. There is currently no cure for lung cancer, but you may be eligible for treatments that could slow tumor growth and extend your life.

  • Tabrecta (capmatinib) is an oral tablet approved by the FDA for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with specific mutations (MET exon 14 skipping), as detected by an FDA-approved test.
  • Tabrecta can be used as a first time treatment or in previously treated patients. It belongs to a class of drugs known as kinase inhibitors.
  • It is not known if Tabrecta is safe and effective in children.

Related: How do I know if my lung cancer has MET exon 14 skipping?

Tabrecta studies in lung cancer

In studies in 60 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received Tabrecta as their first treatment for NSCLC, 5% saw their tumors disappear (known as a complete response). A complete response is not the same thing as a cure. In addition, 63% of people had their tumors shrink (known as a partial response).

  • The overall response rate for patients who had never received Tabrecta was 68% (nearly 7 out of 10 people had their tumors shrink or disappear).
  • The Overall Response Rate (ORR) is determined by the percent of people whose tumors shrank or became fewer in number (which is called a partial response), and the number of people whose tumors disappeared (which is called a complete response).
  • Over half of the patients receiving Tabrecta as their first treatment had a response that lasted at least 16.6 months.

In 100 patients who had previously received treatment for NSCLC, 44% (more than 4 out of 10) of patients had a partial response and no patients had a complete response. The median duration of response for Tabrecta in this group was 9.7 months.

Related questions

How does Tabrecta work in lung cancer?

Tabrecta is used to treat patients whose lung cancer tumors have an abnormal gene. MET exon 14 skipping is caused by changes in a gene that makes the MET (mesenchymal-epithelial transition) protein. Tabrecta blocks the activity of these proteins made by MET exon 14 skipping to help slow down cancer growth.

Related: Is non-small cell lung cancer hereditary?

Your doctor can order a special test approved by the FDA to determine if your lung cancer exhibits MET exon 14 skipping. This test may involve taking a blood sample or a tissue biopsy.

Tabrecta is considered a targeted drug therapy but can still affect both cancer cells and healthy cells. This may lead to a variety of side effects, some of which can be serious or fatal. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the warnings and side effects associated with this drug treatment.

Learn More: Tabrecta Side Effects, Precautions and Warnings

This is not all the information you need to know about Tabrecta (capmatinib) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Review the full product information and discuss any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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