This AstraZeneca drug could replace chemotherapy as standard lung cancer treatment

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22/12/2016

An AstraZeneca drug could replace chemotherapy as the new standard treatment for lung cancer after it performed well in a trial.

The Phase III trial found Tagrisso reduced the progression of the disease by 70% when compared to chemotherapy. Progression-free survival rates for patients were improved by 5.7 months compared to standard platinum-based chemotherapy.

Sean Bohen, executive vice president for global medicines development, and chief medical officer at AstraZeneca, said: “The confirmatory Phase III data suggest the potential for Tagrisso to replace chemotherapy as the standard of care for patients. As lung cancer is the most common type of cancer to spread to the brain, it is also encouraging to see the activity of Tagrisso in patients with central nervous system metastases whose prognosis is often particularly poor.”

The results were presented at the 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Vienna, Austria, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and published simultaneously online in The New England Journal of Medicine .

Dr Vassiliki A Papadimitrakopoulou, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said: “The results are not only statistically significant, but clinically meaningful because it is the first time a targeted medicine like Tagrisso has shown improvement in progression-free survival over standard platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy. It’s very rewarding to be able to give this type of news to patients, as it highlights the major advances we are making in targeted lung cancer treatments.”

Tagrisso has already received fast-track approval from America’s FDA for use on patients there, and is already in use in Europe and Japan.


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