ASCO: New Advanced Lung Cancer Treatments Promising

-- Rick Ansorge

Monday, June 1, 2009

MONDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), new drugs and drug combinations can prolong survival, while hormone therapy among menopausal females with lung cancer is associated with increased mortality risk, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from May 29 to June 2 in Orlando, Fla.

In one study, Vincent A. Miller, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues randomly assigned 768 patients to receive either bevacizumab (Avastin) plus erlotinib (Tarceva) or bevacizumab plus placebo after initial cytotoxic chemotherapy with bevacizumab. Compared to the addition of placebo, the researchers found that the addition of erlotinib was associated with a 29 percent reduced risk of disease progression and longer median progression-free survival.

Other studies presented included one supporting maintenance therapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) for improved overall survival in NSCLC, and another reporting that vandetanib (Zactima) improves progression-free survival in NSCLC patients. From the Women's Health Initiative, a secondary analysis indicates that estrogen and progestin use ups the mortality risk for women with NSCLC.

"The studies presented today highlight promising new targeted therapies and milder treatment regimens that improve survival," said Bruce E. Johnson, M.D., director of the Dana-Farber Harvard Medical Center Lung Cancer Program in Boston and moderator of the press briefing.

Pharmaceutical relationship disclosures were made for all studies presented.

Abstract - Erlotinib
Abstract - Pemetrexed
Abstract - Vandetanib
Abstract - Women's Health Initiative

Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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