Addition of vandetanib to docetaxel may significantly improve progression-free survival

-- Rick Ansorge

Monday, June 7, 2010 (Last Updated: 06/08/2010)

MONDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- In advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients with progression after first-line therapy, the addition of vandetanib to a standard chemotherapy regimen of docetaxel may significantly improve progression-free survival and response rates compared to standard chemotherapy alone, according to a study published online June 5 in The Lancet Oncology to coincide with a presentation at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 4 to 8 in Chicago.

Roy S. Herbst, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues from the phase 3 Zactima in cOmbination with Docetaxel In non-smAll cell lung Cancer (ZODIAC) trial randomly assigned 1,391 patients in 25 countries to receive either vandetanib plus docetaxel or placebo plus docetaxel.

After an average follow-up of 12.8 months, the researchers found that median progression-free survival was significantly improved in the vandetanib group compared to the placebo group (4 versus 3.2 months), and observed a similar improvement in women who received vandetanib (4.6 versus 4.2 months). Although there were no significant group differences in overall survival, they found that vandetanib was associated with a significantly higher objective response rate than placebo (17 versus 10 percent), and a significant improvement in time to worsening of symptoms (3.5 versus 2.7 months). They also found that the most common serious adverse event -- febrile neutropenia -- occurred in 7 percent of the vandetanib group and 6 percent of the placebo group.

"This improvement in symptom relief experienced by patients receiving vandetanib raises the possibility that patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer can live with fewer symptoms (and therefore fewer interventions) for a longer period of time," the authors write. "Since progressive disease is generally associated with a worsening in disease-related symptoms, the results of the present study suggest that slowing disease progression also slowed symptom progression, leading to an important palliative benefit."

The study was supported by AstraZeneca, which manufactures vandetanib. Several authors disclosed financial relationships with the company.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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