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Afatinib benefits lung cancer patients whose cancer progressed after treatment with EGFR inhibitors
Date:10/12/2010

Lung cancer patients who have already been treated with the EGFR inhibitors erlotinib or gefitinib seem to gain further benefits in terms of progression-free survival and tumor shrinkage when treated with the new drug afatinib, the results of a Phase IIb/III trial show.

At the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan, Italy, Dr Vincent Miller from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA, reported findings from the LUX-Lung 1 trial of afatinib in 585 patients with lung adenocarcinoma whose cancer had progressed after chemotherapy and erlotinib or gefitinib.

The participants were randomly assigned to either best supportive care plus a placebo, or supportive care plus afatinib, which is an irreversible inhibitor of two cancer-associated cell surface molecules --epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).

While the results showed no significant difference in overall survival between the two groups, patients who were given afatinib saw disease progression delayed and were more likely to experience tumor shrinkage, Dr Miller said.

Median overall survival was 10.78 months for patients who received supportive care plus afatinib, compared to 11.96 months for those receiving supportive care plus placebo. "The median overall survival for both arms was expected to be approximately five months," Dr Miller said. "The fact that it was nearly one year was unexpected."

Median progression-free survival was 3.3 months for patients administered afatinib, compared to 1.1 month in the placebo group. The disease control rate after 8 weeks of therapy was 58% in the afatinib arm, and 19% for the placebo arm. The investigator analysis saw an overall response rate of 11% in afatinib patients, compared to 0.5% for those receiving placebo plus best supportive care.

"Our study showed that adding afatinib to best supportive care improved
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Contact: Vanessa Pavinato
media@esmo.org
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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