Drug slightly boosts survival in study

? Adding the novel cancer drug Erbitux to standard chemotherapy helped advanced lung cancer patients live just a month longer than chemo alone, a study found.

Although this is the first study to find a survival benefit from a newer, more targeted cancer drug as initial treatment for lung cancer patients, the results left doctors mostly disappointed.

“It’s a very small benefit. No one should try to make any more of it than that,” said Dr. Roy Herbst, lung cancer chief at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

He consults for Erbitux’s makers but had no role in the study, which is to be presented today at a meeting in Chicago of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.