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AstraZeneca's Imfinzi combo tops chemotherapy in treatment-naive advanced lung cancer

Published on 09/09/19 at 10:29am

AstraZeneca has unveiled new Phase 3 data for its immunotherapy Imfinzi (durvalumab), showing that it achieved its primary endpoint when combined with four cycles of standard-of-care chemotherapy in the treatment of previously-untreated extensive-stage small cell lung cancer.

The findings showed that the Imfinzi combo reduced the risk of death by 27% with a median overall survival (OS) of 13.0 months versus 10.3 months with SoC, consisting of up to six cycles of chemotherapy and optional prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI). The company also revealed that an estimated 33.9% of Imfinzi patients were still alive after 18 months of treatment, compared to just 24.7% of SoC patients.

Furthermore, the Imfinzi combo produced greater progression-free survival benefit of 17.5% after 12 months compared to just 4.7%, a 67.9% confirmed objective response rate (ORR) versus 57.6%, and 22.7% improvement in duration of response at 12 months compared to 6.3%.

According to AstraZeneca, this makes Imfinzi the first immunotherapy to show “significant survival benefit and improved, durable responses” in this indication.

“Patients have had limited treatment options for small cell lung cancer, a devastating disease where the five-year survival rate has been as low as 6%,” explained Dr Luis Paz-Ares, Chair, Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario Doce de Octubre in Madrid, and principal investigator in the Phase 3 CASPIAN trial. “The significant survival benefit demonstrated with Imfinzi combined with only four cycles of a choice of chemotherapy compared to a robust control arm, provides evidence and hope of a new treatment option for these patients.”

José Baselga, AstraZeneca’s Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, added: “We are encouraged to see more than a third of small cell lung cancer patients treated with Imfinzi plus chemotherapy alive at the 18-month landmark, which is remarkable given the aggressive nature of the disease. It is also noteworthy that these results may enable physicians to choose Imfinzi in combination with either cisplatin or carboplatin chemotherapy backbones. We look forward to working with regulatory authorities to bring Imfinzi to patients with small cell lung cancer around the world as soon as possible.”

Matt Fellows

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