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AstraZeneca’s new ‘Imfinzi’can improve survival chances of lung cancer patients



A NEW Phase 3 result reported by AstraZeneca’s (AZ’s) shows that its  Imfinzi (durvalumab), in combination with neoadjuvant chemotherapy can bring about a  significant improvement in event-free survival in certain lung cancer patients.

The late-stage AEGEAN study compared resectable, early-stage, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who were treated with the Imfinzi combination before surgery and as a monotherapy after surgery, to patients treated only with chemotherapy pre-surgery.

The results from a planned interim analysis showed that the Imfinzi-based treatment regime significantly increased the time patients live without the disease recurring or progressing.

The company also reported that the drug was well tolerated and there were no new safety concerns before and after surgery.

According to John Heymach, a professor and chair thoracic/head and neck medical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center,  “treating patients early with Imfinzi both before and after surgery delivers a significant and clinically meaningful benefit in resectable NSCLC where new options are urgently needed to offer patients the best chance of long-term survival.

“The AEGEAN results provide compelling evidence that this novel [Imfinzi] regimen can drive improved outcomes in this curative-intent setting.”

The trial will continue as planned to assess key secondary endpoints such as disease-free survival and overall survival, AZ said, with these latest results set to be presented at an upcoming medical meeting and shared with global health authorities.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, accounting for about one-fifth of all cancer deaths.

Approximately 2.2 million people are diagnosed with lung cancer globally each year, with 80-85% diagnosed with NSCLC – the most common form of lung cancer.

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Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AZ, Susan Galbraith said that patients with resectable NSCLC face unacceptably high rates of recurrence, despite treatment with chemotherapy and surgery.

“We have shown that adding Imfinzi both before and after surgery significantly increased the time patients live without recurrence or progression events. We will continue to follow patients for overall survival.”

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