Abraxane, leading breast cancer drug is effective against lung cancer, new study shows.

Abraxane, the leading breast cancer drug has been found to be effective in fighting non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), based on an international study.

The phase III, clinical trial of more than a thousand lung cancer patients - 14 of them in Australia - found that Abraxane (NAB paclitaxel) led to a significant improvement in the overall response rate compared to paclitaxel used as first line treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Abraxane is a protein-bound chemotherapy agent that combines paclitaxel with albumin, a naturally-occurring human protein.

Based on the promising trial results, Specialized Therapeutics Australia have been prompted to look into applying to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to broaden the drug's indication, next year.

Carlo Montagner, the chief executive of Specialized Therapeutics Australia said, We are extremely pleased with the results from this phase III study.

Subject to further data analysis, we anticipate filing to the TGA in 2011 for what will be the second indication for Abraxane in Australia.

The trial was carried out by US biotechnology firm Abraxis, BioScience, led by Dr Mark Socinski of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr Socinski said that this is exciting news for lung cancer patients and has important implications not only in late stage cancer but also in earlier stages of the disease.