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Vizimpro® (dacomitinib)

Vizimpro is a first-line treatment for people with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with certain EGFR mutations.1 Approximately 10% of people with NSCLC have a mutation associated with EGFR, which stands for epidermal growth factor receptor. EGFR mutations are most often found in tumors in female patients who have never smoked (patients are considered “never smokers” if they have smoked less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime). EGFR mutation are also more commonly seen in Asians than in those of other ethnicities. However, EGFR mutations are not exclusive to these subgroups.2,3

There are different types of mutations that researchers have identified with EGFR. Dacomitinib is approved to treat the exon 19 deletion or exon 21 L858R substitution mutations. These mutations are determined by a genetic test on the cancer cells.1,4

How does dacomitinib work?

Lung cancers that have an EGFR mutation have an excess of EGFR receptors on the surface of their cells.3 Vizimpro helps block these receptors and disrupts the activity of the EGFR receptor. In clinical trials, patients who received dacomitinib had a positive improvement in their progression-free survival time (the length of time during treatment or immediately following before the cancer worsens). The median progression-free survival was 14.7 months for patients on Vizimpro and 9.2 months for those on Iressa® (gefitinib).1,4

What are the possible side effects of dacomitinib?

The most common side effects experienced by patients receiving dacomitinib in clinical trials included diarrhea (87%), rash (69%), skin or nail infections (64%), mouth pain and sores (45%), decreased appetite (31%), dry skin (30%), decreased weight (26%), hair loss (alopecia) (23%), cough (21%) and itching (21%). Serious adverse reactions occurred in 27% of patients, including interstitial lung disease (which causes lung or breathing problems), severe diarrhea, and severe skin reactions.1,4

These are not all the possible side effects of dacomitinib. People taking dacomitinib should talk to their doctor about potential side effects.

Things to know about dacomitinib

Before starting treatment with dacomitinib, patients should talk to their doctor about all their medical conditions, including if they:4,5

  • Have frequent diarrhea
  • Have a history of lung or breathing problems (other than lung cancer)
  • Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Dacomitinib can harm an unborn child and should not be used by women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Women should have a pregnancy test before treatment with dacomitinib begins and should use effective birth control during treatment and for at least 17 days after the last dose of dacomitinib.4,5

It is not known if Vizimpro can pass into breast milk and possibly harm a breastfeeding child. Women should not breastfeed while taking Vizimpro and for at least 17 days after the last dose of dacomitinib.4,5

Before beginning treatment with dacomitinib, patients should talk to their doctor about all medications (prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins, and supplements they are taking. Some medications or supplements may interfere with each other or cause additional side effects.

While taking dacomitinib, patients should minimize their exposure to sunlight. Sunlight may increase skin reactions that can occur with dacomitinib.5

Dosing information

Dacomitinib comes in a tablet which is taken by mouth once daily with or without food. Patients should take their medication as prescribed by their doctor. Patients should talk to their doctor if they have any questions, or if they have questions regarding their dacomitinib regimen.4

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Vizimpro.

Written by: Emily Downward | Last reviewed: April 2019.
  1. Vizimpro (dacomitinib). Chemocare. Accessed on April 2019. From: http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/dacomitinib.aspx
  2. Vizimpro (dacomitinib). Accessed on April 2019. From: https://www.vizimpro.com/