Cancer Home > Cancer and Gefitinib
Gefitinib (Iressa®) comes as a tablet that is usually taken once a day to treat non-small cell lung cancer. This prescription chemotherapy drug is approved for use in adults age 18 and older.
As a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor, gefitinib works to treat this form of cancer by preventing cells from growing and dividing. Although some people may still benefit from this medicine, the manufacturer of gefitinib no longer markets this drug for use in the United States.
Clinical studies have shown that gefitinib does not help people with non-small cell lung cancer live longer. Because other medications may help people with non-small cell lung cancer live longer, these other medications should be used before gefitinib. The use of gefitinib is restricted to people who are already taking this drug and are benefiting from it, or people who have benefited from gefitinib treatment in the past.
(Click What Is Gefitinib Used For? to learn more about using this chemotherapy drug to treat non-small cell lung cancer.)