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ASCO Study Confirms Importance of Histology in Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer With ALIMTA (pemetrexed for injection)
Date:5/15/2008

INDIANAPOLIS, May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lung cancer patients whose histology is factored into treatment decisions may fare better as a result, according to data from a pivotal non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) clinical trial. Data from the trial, which involved Eli Lilly and Company's ALIMTA(R) (pemetrexed for injection), will be presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, Ill., May 30 -- June 3, 2008.

"The data presented at ASCO confirms that histology matters when treating non-small cell lung cancer," said Richard Gaynor, M.D., vice president, cancer research and global oncology platform leader for Lilly. "We are seeing continued affirmation that when physicians factor in a patient's histology, pemetrexed becomes an even more valuable treatment option in non-small cell lung cancer."

Results from a multicenter, double-blind Phase III trial will be presented on June 2, 2008, at ASCO (Abstract # 8011). The study also was one of those featured during ASCO's live online presscast, a virtual press event that marked the first time researchers were invited to present key abstracts to the media prior to the annual meeting.

The trial compared the efficacy and safety of pemetrexed versus a placebo in 663 patients with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC whose disease had not progressed after four cycles of platinum-based induction chemotherapy. According to the results, patients treated with pemetrexed demonstrated increased efficacy with respect to progression-free survival compared to those treated by placebo (4.3 months vs. 2.6 months), and pemetrexed patients also achieved better tumor response (p < 0.001).

However, when data was broken down by histology, it was comparable to previous pemetrexed trials evaluating histology -- patients with a non-squamous histology fared better than those with a squamous histology. Patients with non-squamous histology who were treated with pemetrexed achie
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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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