Osimertinib, or Tagrisso

Osimertinib, or Tagrisso

This patient-friendly article is about the cancer drug Osimertinib, also known by its trade name Tagrisso, used in treating locally advanced or metastatic EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Osimertinib is used to interfere with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body particularly if the cells have a T790M mutation. This mutation occurs in the gene coding for EGFR and prompts the expression of tyrosine kinase.Tagrisso is a kinase inhibitor. EGFR is a protein found of the outside of some cells. When Epithermal Growth Factor bids to the cells it causes rapid cell division. It is found at especially high levels in cancer cells. If there is a mutation in EGFR, it may cause chaotic cell division through the abnormal activation of EGFR. Tagrisso aims to block this abnormal activation.

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

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The recommended dosage is 80 mg, taken orally without food, until toxicity stops treatment or the disease progression recurs. Resistance usually develops around month 10 prompted by a new mutation. Antibiotics, anti-fungals and anti-virals may cause concentration of the drug.

EGFR inhibitors may be Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors - e.g. Erlotinib, Gefitinib, Afatenib - or Monoclonal Antibodies - e.g. necitumumab, cetuximab. Pancreatic, breast and colon cancer may also involve EGFR.

Tagrisso drug is actually Osimertinib Mesylate and is manufactured by Astrazeneca.

Tagrisso was approved by the FDA in 2015, and by the EU in Feb 2016. 


The involvement of Oestrogen

Numerous reference exist showing that better results can be obtained in fighting NSCLC if action is taken to reduce oestrogen levels.

  * Better results for fighting Lung cancer occur when targeting both EGFR and ER pathways. See - https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/65/4/1459
  * And tobacco smoke aggravates the ER receptor - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28783064

Side effects

Common side-effects include fatigue, dry skin, diarrhea and decreased appetite.

Warning - Osimertinib  can cause severe side-effects on your heart, lungs or vision.


  • Cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscles)
  • pneumonitis (inflammation in the lungs)
  • Embryo-fetal toxicity
  • Inflammation of the eye(s)

Go to: 10 ways to improve your chemotherapy success and reduce side-effects

Other articles that you may find interesting are:

  1. A diet for Chemotherapy
  2. Immunotherapy overview
  3. A to Z Guide to Complementary Therapies

Go to: Return to the CANCERactive drug list

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