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Advanced targeted therapies effective as first-line treatment for lung cancer
Date:8/1/2009

CLINICAL OUTCOME WITH ERLOTINIB: RESULTS FROM THE PHASE III PLACEBO-CONTROLLED SATURN STUDY OF MAINTENANCE THERAPY FOR ADVANCED NSCLC (ABSTRACT # B9.1)

In another segment of the SATURN study, researchers further examined the efficacy of erlotinib as a maintenance therapy in non-progressive disease patients after first-line platinum-containing chemotherapy. Currently the indications for erlotinib are limited to its use as a second- or third-line agent after failure of first-line chemotherapy.

To expand the potential for the use of erlotinib, Wolfram Brugger, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Department of Hematology, Oncology and Immunology at Schwarzwald-Baar Clinic in Germany, and his team of researchers conducted the phase III, placebo-controlled SATURN study to evaluate the efficacy of erlotinib as a maintenance therapy.

Dr. Brugger enrolled a total of 889 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients and treated them with either 150mg/day of erlotinib or placebo after four cycles of platinum-based doublet chemotherapy. Researchers evaluated molecular markers including EGFR protein and EGFR gene copy number, EGFR- and KRAS-mutations and EGFR polymorphism in order to potentially identify predictive markers for erlotinib therapy.

Both arms of the trial were well represented in patient and disease characteristics, specifically regarding biomarker status. Dr. Brugger and his team determined that the use of erlotinib provided a clinical benefit in terms of both progression-free and overall survival for all patients, regardless of the status of biomarkers.

"This study demonstrates the tremendous potential for erlotinib and the potential for its expanded use as a maintenance therapy," says Dr. Brugger. "The addition of an effective tool physicians can use to maintain a cancer-free state in their patients is crucial to prolonged survival."

Dr. Brugger will present this study on Saturday, August 1 at 2:30 pm PT in Moscon
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Contact: Liz Wulderk
lwulderk@spectrumscience.com
443-506-1931
International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
Source:Eurekalert

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