Study Finds Osimertinib Halves Risk of Death for Lung Cancer Patients



A global study has found that osimertinib, also known as Tagrisso, a once-daily pill, halved the risk of death in patients with a common form of lung cancer. The research, recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that taking the drug after tumor-removal surgery dramatically reduced the risk of patients dying by 51%.

AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso Effective in Treating Lung Cancer

AstraZeneca’s drug Tagrisso has been found to be safe and well-tolerated with no new safety concerns. The drug was effective in treating non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form of the disease that accounts for the majority of lung cancer cases. Treatment with Tagrisso has previously been shown to improve disease-free survival in this patient group and is currently used to treat early-stage lung cancer as well as later-stage forms of the disease. AstraZeneca is testing Tagrisso in combination with other drugs to treat a range of lung cancers.

Provides the Best Chance of Long-term Survival

The study found that osimertinib reduced the risk of death by 51% compared to placebo in both the primary analysis population. The researchers randomly assigned eligible patients to receive osimertinib or a placebo until disease recurrence was observed. Of 682 patients who underwent randomization, 339 received osimertinib, and 343 received placebo. In the primary analysis population, an estimated 85% of patients treated with osimertinib were alive at five years compared to 73% on placebo. In the overall trial population, an estimated 88% of patients treated with osimertinib were alive at five years compared to 78% on placebo.

Early Detection and Treatment Key to Improved Patient Outcomes

“These highly anticipated overall survival results, with 88% of patients alive at five years, are a momentous achievement in the treatment of early-stage EGFR-mutated lung cancer,” said a principal investigator in the trial, Roy S. Herbst, Deputy Director and Chief of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital, US. He added that adjuvant treatment with osimertinib provides patients with the best chance of long-term survival. Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, said osimertinib cut the risk of death by more than half in the adjuvant setting, further establishing this transformative medicine as the backbone treatment for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutated lung cancer. These results emphasize the importance of diagnosing patients with lung cancer early, testing for EGFR mutations and treating all those with an EGFR mutation with Tagrisso (osimertinib).

In conclusion, osimertinib has been found to be an effective treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, particularly for patients with EGFR mutations. Adjuvant treatment with osimertinib provides the best chance of long-term survival and emphasizes the importance of early detection and treatment for improved patient outcomes.

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Dr. Kirti Sisodhia

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