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Studies Suggest Key Correlation Between Lung Cancer Subtype and Treatment Outcomes
Date:9/25/2007

Lilly Studies Predictive Factors to Better Target Patients for ALIMTA(R) (pemetrexed for injection) in the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

BARCELONA, Spain, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In clinical research, patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that are classified as having a non-squamous histology achieve statistically significant higher survival when treated in the second-line setting with ALIMTA(R) (pemetrexed for injection) when compared to histologically-similar patients treated with docetaxel. The data (ECCO Abstract # 6521)(1) were presented at the 14th European Cancer Conference (ECCO) in Barcelona. ALIMTA, manufactured and marketed by Eli Lilly and Company, is currently indicated for the second-line treatment of advanced NSCLC in more than 85 countries.

The retrospective analysis of Phase III data(2) consisted of 571 patients. The analysis showed that non-squamous patients treated with ALIMTA achieved a statistically higher overall survival compared to those treated with docetaxel (9.3 months and 8.0 months, respectively; hazard ratio 0.778 [95% CI 0.607- 0.997]). Conversely, the analysis suggested that patients with a squamous histology and treated with docetaxel had a statistically higher overall survival compared to those treated with ALIMTA (7.4 months and 6.2 months respectively; hazard ratio 1.563 [95% CI 1.079, 2.264]). Patients with a non- squamous histology represented the majority of the patients on the trial.

The retrospective analysis was driven by preclinical data that suggested patients with a lower expression of thymidylate synthase (TS) enzyme show an increased efficacy when treated with ALIMTA.(3,4) The histological type of NSCLC is determined by how the cancerous cells appear under a microscope. Two of the most common histological types of NSCLC are adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma (5) and constitute approximately 55 percent of all NSCLC diagnoses.(6) These two subgroups, a
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