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What is XALKORI?

XALKORI is a 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. It is not known if XALKORI is safe and effective in children.

The ALK fusion gene

The ALK fusion gene

A particular genetic defect

Advances in genetics have revealed a number of genetic alterations or defects that are believed to cause some cancers to grow.

One of these, the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fusion gene, was identified in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in 2007. The ALK fusion gene is an alteration or defect in a normal gene called ALK and is thought to play a critical role in the growth of some NSCLCs.

About 3% to 5% of people with NSCLC may test positive for the ALK fusion gene (ALK+). This number may seem small, but not if you are one of them. While some people may be more likely to have the ALK fusion gene in their tumors, there is no true way to know without getting tested. Men and women with NSCLC who tested ALK+ for clinical trials were of various races and ranged in age from their 20s up to 82. There were smokers, former smokers, and a majority who had never smoked.

Why it's important to know

More and more we are discovering that knowing what drives the cancer helps to select the treatment of choice. XALKORI blocks the action of the ALK fusion gene. If you test ALK+ and your NSCLC has spread to other parts of your body, it may respond to XALKORI.

XALKORI is a prescription medicine. It treats NSCLC that has spread to other parts of the body and is caused by a defect in a gene. This gene is called ALK. It is not known if XALKORI is safe and effective in children.

Getting tested is the only way to know

Experts have made specific recommendations about who should be tested for the ALK fusion gene. Ask your doctor if this is an appropriate test for you.

How to start the conversation

If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Are any biomarker tests available for my type of tumor?

  • Should I be tested for the ALK fusion gene?

  • When is it appropriate to test me for biomarkers like the ALK fusion gene?

  • What can biomarker testing tell me about my cancer?

  • Will I need another biopsy?

If your doctor recommends testing you for biomarkers such as the ALK fusion gene, you may also want to ask:

  • How could it affect my course of treatment?

In the next section, you’ll learn more about XALKORI — what it is, how it works, and what it could mean for your cancer treatment plan.

> NEXT, LET’S TALK: ABOUT XALKORI®

 

Indications

XALKORI is a 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. It is not known if XALKORI is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information

XALKORI® (crizotinib) may cause serious side effects, some of which may include:

Liver problems — XALKORI may cause life-threatening liver injury that may lead to death. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests at least every month to check your liver during treatment with XALKORI. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following new or worsening symptoms:

  • yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes
  • severe tiredness
  • dark or brown (tea color) urine
  • nausea or vomiting
  • decreased appetite
  • pain on the right side of your stomach
  • bleed or bruise more easily than normal
  • itching

Lung problems (pneumonitis) — XALKORI may cause life-threatening lung problems that may lead to death. Symptoms may be similar to those symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new or worsening symptoms, including:

  • trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • cough with or without mucous
  • fever

Heart problems — XALKORI may cause very slow, very fast, or abnormal heartbeats. Your healthcare provider may check your heart during treatment with XALKORI. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you feel dizzy or faint or have abnormal heartbeats. Tell your healthcare provider if you take any heart or blood pressure medicines.

Vision problems — Vision problems are common with XALKORI. These problems usually happen within 1 week of starting treatment with XALKORI. Vision problems with XALKORI can be severe and may cause partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes. Your healthcare provider may stop XALKORI and refer you to an eye healthcare provider if you develop severe vision problems during treatment with XALKORI. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any loss of vision or any change in vision, including:

  • double vision
  • seeing flashes of light
  • blurry vision
  • light hurting your eyes
  • new or increased floaters

Before you take XALKORI, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have heart problems, including a condition called long QT syndrome
  • have liver or kidney problems
  • have vision or eye problems
  • have any other medical conditions
  • are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. XALKORI can harm your unborn baby.
    • > Females who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with XALKORI and for at least 45 days after the final dose of XALKORI.
    • > Males who have female partners who can become pregnant should use condoms during treatment with XALKORI and for at least 90 days after the final dose of XALKORI.
    • > Talk to your healthcare provider about birth control methods that may be right for you.
    • > If you or your partner becomes pregnant, tell your healthcare provider right away.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if XALKORI passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with XALKORI and for 45 days after the final dose. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby during this time.

Tell your healthcare provider about the medicines you take, including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

You should not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit during treatment with XALKORI. It may increase the amount of XALKORI in your blood to a harmful level.

The most common side effects of XALKORI include:

  • vision problems
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • swelling of your hands, feet, face, and eyes
  • constipation
  • increased liver function blood test results
  • tiredness
  • decreased appetite
  • upper respiratory infection
  • dizziness
  • feeling of numbness or tingling in the extremities

XALKORI can cause changes in your vision, dizziness, and tiredness. If you have these symptoms avoid driving a car, using machinery or doing anything that needs you to be alert.

XALKORI may cause decreased fertility. In females, this could affect your ability to become pregnant. In males, this could affect your ability to father a child.

These are not all of the possible side effects of XALKORI. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

Indications

XALKORI is a 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. It is not known if XALKORI is safe and effective in children.

If you are uninsured or don’t have sufficient coverage for XALKORI, call 1-877-744-5675 to talk to a counselor at Pfizer RxPathways®. They are available Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM ET and can help verify whether you are eligible for patient assistance.

The product information provided in this site is intended for residents of the United States. The products discussed herein may have different product labeling in different countries.

The health information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider, considering the unique characteristics of the patient.