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Two Studies Evaluated Full-Dose Chemotherapy Regimen and Concurrent Radiation in Treatment of Lung Cancer
Date:5/20/2010

INDIANAPOLIS, May 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Results of two Phase II trials evaluating ALIMTA® (pemetrexed for injection) in combination with a platinum chemotherapy and radiation for patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) will be presented by Eli Lilly and Company at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, Ill., on June 6, 2010.

The standard of care for many patients with unresectable stage IIIA/B NSCLC is a concurrent treatment of chemotherapy and radiation, but the chosen chemotherapy varies by oncologist.  Previous study results for an ALIMTA-based regimen in this therapeutic area warranted further study.(1)

The Phase II study (ASCO Abstract #7087) evaluated 39 patients with unresectable stage IIIA/B NSCLC who were treated with full doses of ALIMTA and cisplatin and a full dose of concurrent radiation. Patients on the ALIMTA regimen achieved a median overall survival of 19.7 months and median progression-free survival of 11.8 months.  Eighty percent of patients continued to live one year following initial treatment and 47 percent of patients were living for one year without tumor progression.  The single-arm trial accrued patients across five centers in Canada.  

Ten patients experienced grade 3/4 hematologic toxicity, particularly neutropenia (low white blood cell count).  Non-hematologic toxicities were also observed, including grade 3 nausea/vomiting, espohagitis (inflammation of the esophagus), serum sodium and potassium alterations, fatigue, and pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue) and grade 4 hypotension (low blood pressure).

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