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Afatinib benefits lung cancer patients whose cancer progressed after treatment with EGFR inhibitors

September 01, 2017

???Our study showed that adding afatinib to best supportive care improved progression free but not overall survival as compared to placebo and best supportive care in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who previously received chemotherapy and either gefitinib or erlotinib,??? Dr Miller said.

Although the trial did not achieve its primary endpoint of extending life, this does not diminish the potential value of this drug in treating patients with this most lethal cancer killer, Dr Miller said.

???The fact that afatinib induced objective regressions in a population with no or limited treatment options, delayed progression of cancer and associated with some improvement in cancer-related symptoms cannot be minimized,??? said Dr Miller.

"The LUX-lung 1 randomized phase III trial demonstrates that afatinib (BIBW2992) is a very active compound in NSCLC," commented Professor Jean-Charles Soria from Institut Gustave Roussy, Paris, France.

"The lack of survival benefit may be related to the likely high enrichment of the trial population by EGFR mutated patients with outstanding median survival times of around 11 months in the 3rd/4th line setting," Prof Soria added. Such survivals are unprecedented in NSCLC and simply highlight the intrinsic good prognosis of EGFR-mutated NSCLC patients.

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