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Novartis Drug Afinitor® Extends Progression-Free Survival in Patients With Advanced Pancreatic NET, Study Published in NEJM Shows
Date:2/9/2011

EAST HANOVER, N.J., Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a study today that shows Afinitor® (everolimus) tablets plus best supportive care (BSC) more than doubled progression-free survival (PFS), or time without tumor growth, versus placebo plus BSC in patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NET)(1).

Data from the study, RADIANT-3 (RAD001 In Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors), were first presented last year at the 12th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer in Barcelona(2). Regulatory submissions for everolimus to treat this patient population are underway worldwide.

Results from the trial showed that everolimus more than doubled median PFS from 4.6 to 11.0 months when compared with placebo and reduced the risk of cancer progression by 65% (hazard ratio [HR] =0.35 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.27 to 0.45]; p<0.001) in patients with advanced pancreatic NET. After 18 months, 34% of patients treated with everolimus (95% CI, 26 to 43) were alive and progression-free versus 9% of those treated with placebo (95% CI, 4 to 16), showing a more prolonged benefit for patients treated with everolimus(1).

Pancreatic NET originates from the islet cells of the pancreas and can grow aggressively(3). It is a distinct and uncommon disease that is different from what is generally referred to as pancreatic cancer or pancreatic exocrine cancer(4). At time of diagnosis the majority of patients have advanced disease, meaning the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and has become more difficult to treat(3),(5). The median survival duration for patients with advanced pancreatic NET is 24 months(6).

"A patient diagnosed with advanced NET may have limited treatment options," said James Yao, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. "Results from the RADIANT-3 trial are encouraging and demonstrate the potential
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