Lung Cancer Home > Xalkori

Available by prescription only, Xalkori is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. It works by blocking the activity of certain proteins in the body that the cancer cells need to grow. This medicine comes in the form of a capsule and is taken twice daily. Potential side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

What Is Xalkori?

Xalkori® (crizotinib) is a prescription medication approved to treat a certain type of lung cancer known as non-small cell lung cancer. It is licensed for use in people who have a specific gene called the abnormal anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene. An abnormal ALK gene is responsible for cancer growth in a small percentage of people with non-small cell lung cancer.
 
(Click Xalkori Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes This Medication?

Xalkori is made by Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals for Pfizer Labs.
 

How Does Xalkori Work?

Tyrosine kinases are proteins found in the body that help regulate cell function, including cell growth. Xalkori belongs to a group of medicines known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of tyrosine kinases, including a specific tyrosine kinase known as anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). When ALK does not function properly, it causes cancer cells to grow. By blocking ALK, Xalkori can slow down the growth of cancer cells and shrink existing tumors.
 

Clinical Effects

Xalkori was shown to be effective in clinical studies that included people with late-stage, non-small cell lung cancer who had the ALK gene. Most people had been previously treated for their cancer. In these studies, 50 to 61 percent of people, on average, experienced complete or partial cancer shrinkage during treatment.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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