AstraZeneca drug data shows superiority over chemotherapy

AstraZeneca on Tuesday presented data from the AURA3 trial that showed how Tagrisso could become the new standard of care for 2nd-line treatment of patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) T790M mutation-positive locally-advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The first randomised Phase III data showed that Tagrisso 2nd-line therapy improved progression-free survival (PFS) by 5.7 months compared with standard platinum-based doublet chemotherapy (Hazard Ratio [HR]=0.3). The results were presented at the 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Vienna, Austria, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and published simultaneously online in The New England Journal of Medicine.

 

Sean Bohen, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer at AstraZeneca, said: “The confirmatory Phase III data suggest the potential for Tagrisso to replace chemotherapy as the standard of care for patients who have progressed following EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment. As lung cancer is the most common type of cancer to spread to the brain, it is also encouraging to see the activity of Tagrisso in patients with central nervous system metastases whose prognosis is often particularly poor.”

AURA3 data showed Tagrisso offered a statistically-significant improvement in PFS versus standard platinum-based doublet chemotherapy; 10.1 months vs 4.4 months, hazard ratio. In the 34% of patients with central nervous system (CNS) metastases at baseline, PFS was also significantly greater with Tagrisso than with platinum-based doublet chemotherapy (8.5 months vs 4.2 months).

Dr. Vassiliki A Papdimitrakopoulou, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA, said that this is the first time a targeted medicine like Tagrisso has shown improvement in progression-free survival over standard platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy.

Tagrisso was granted accelerated approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2015 for the treatment of patients with metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) T790M mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as detected by an FDA-approved test, who have progressed on or after EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy.  In the EU, Tagrisso was granted conditional marketing authorisation for adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic EGFR T790M NSCLC, irrespective of previous EGFR-TKI treatment by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in February 2016.

In addition, Tagrisso received approval in Japan in March 2016 for the treatment of patients with EGFR T790M mutation-positive inoperable or recurrent NSCLC that is resistant to EGFR TKI therapy, and it is currently under fast frack review in China, where nearly half of lung cancer patients are thought to have the EGFR mutation.

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