Afatinib used in lung cancer treatment helps patients live longer, results show

Afatinib used in lung cancer treatment helps patients live longer, results show

June 15, 2012

Investigational afatinib used in non-small cell lung cancer treatment helped patients live longer compared with pemetrexed/cisplatin, according to the results of a new phase 3 clinical trial.

Investigational afatinib used in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment helped patients live longer compared with pemetrexed/cisplatin, according to the results of a new phase 3 clinical trial.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals presented the results of the LUX-Lung 3 trial at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2012 Meeting in early June.

The study evaluated 345 patients with stage IIIb or IV NSCLC who harbored a variety of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations. Patients assigned to the afatinib arm lived for 11.1 months before tumor progression, versus 6.9 months for those patients in the chemotherapy arm.

“Data from LUX-Lung 3 show that…afatinib demonstrated a significant and clinically meaningful delay in the progression of NSCLC, compared with combination pemetrexed and cisplatin,” said Berthold Greifenberg, MD, vice president of clinical development and medical affairs – oncology for Boehringer Ingelheim.

EGFR mutation-positive lung cancer is more common than researchers previously believed, according to Lecia V. Sequist, MD, MPH, one of the principal investigators for LUX-Lung 3 and a medical oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. “There may be up to 38,000 Americans diagnosed with this disease each year. There is still a great need for additional treatment options, especially in the United States, where there are currently no therapies approved specifically for use in EGFR mutation-positive lung cancer,” Dr Sequist said.