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News about lung cancer treatment

  • September 26 2017

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    News about lung cancer treatment

    Several exciting new developments in lung cancer treatment have been announced recently. We're highlighting two studies discussed at the European Society for Medical Onology (ESMO) Congress Sept. 8-12 in Madrid, Spain.  

    Immunotherapy for patients with stage 3 NSCLC

    Most patients with stage 3B non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cannot have an operation to remove their tumor. Instead, they might be treated with chemotherapy and radiation treatment (called chemoradiation).  After chemoradiation, most patients are monitored and then given additional treatment once their disease gets worse. A study called the PACIFIC trial tested whether using a new immunotherapy (durvalumab; Imfinzi™ by AstraZeneca) after chemoradiation would help keep lung cancer at bay. The results showed that immunotherapy improved median progression-free survival (PFS) by 11.2 months compared with a placebo. The median PFS was 16.8 months with durvalumab compared with 5.6 months for placebo. PACIFIC trial studied patients with stage 3B NSCLC whose tumors could not be removed by surgery and whose disease had not gotten worse afterchemoradiotherapy. Overall survival data are not yet available.  Read more

    What’s next? Researchers are still collecting data to measure the overall survival. The FDA may approve durvalumab for use in patients with stage 3B disease after chemoradiation. This immunotherapy could be the first treatment of its kind approved for patients with stage 3B NSCLC. 

    Potential new initial treatment for EGFR-mutated lung cancer

    A study called the FLAURA trial looked at the use of osimertinib (Tagrisso® by AstraZeneca) as thefirst treatment in patients with EGFR-mutated NSCLC.  Osimerinib is already FDA-approved and is used in patients whose EGFR-mutated NSCLC gets worse after standard treatment.  This drug is active against a mutation called T790M, which is known to cause resistance to other drugs that work target EGFR mutations. In the FLAURA trial, patients treated with osimerinib had a median PFS of 18.9 months compared with a PFS of 10.2 months in patients treated with other agents targeting EGFR. “Results of the FLAURA study define a new standard of care for patients with EGFR mutation-positive non–small cell lung cancer," said lead investigator Suresh Ramalingam, MD, Deputy Director, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. “There was a 54% reduction in the risk of progression or death with the use of osimertinib compared with standard care.” Overall survival data are not yet available. Read more

    What’s next? The study is ongoing and researchers continue to collect data on overall survival. The FDAmay approve osimertinib as the first-line (initial) treatment for patients with EGFR-mutated lung cancer.

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