Eating substantial meals greatly raises concentration of lung cancer drug erlotinib, improving NSCLC treatment effectiveness, per Cure study.

New findings show that Alecensa (alectinib), a medication to treat advanced lung cancer, is more impactful taken with a substantial breakfast, lunch or dinner, rather than in structured doses 12 hours apart.

A substantial diet is important when taking highly concentrated drugs daily. The way in which a drug interacts with one’s body can be based on the patients’ food consumption, depending on the kind of drug.

Patients with advanced lung cancer were included in the study: half eating low-fat diets with Alecensa and the other eating high-fat diets with Alecensa. Results showed that taking Alecensa with a low-fat diet revealed 14% less exposure of the medication (observed drug levels in the body) compared to those consuming a high-fat continental breakfast. Even less exposure (20% less) was seen in patients who took Alecensa with their own designed lunch.

The study’s findings also conclude that patients can benefit from taking their medicine with a substantial meal, rather than taking the doses exactly 12 hours apart.

“To be more specific, we believe it is preferable to take the pills with breakfast and during dinner, rather than with a small snack before breakfast or somewhere in the evening”, explained study author, Daan A.C. Lanser from the Department of Medical Oncology at the Erasmus Cancer Institute, Erasmus University Medical Center, in an interview with CURE®.

When examining patients 12 hours after the most recent dose, there were no differences in side effects among the different meals studied, though Lanser mentioned that taking Alecensa with a high-fat meal may lower the risk of drug toxicity.

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