In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out which medication is better for treating lung cancer that has spread to the brain or spinal cord, crizotinib (Xalkori) or alectinib (Alecensa). The study found that alectinib worked better than crizotinib for treatment of tumors of the brain and spinal cord.
Alectinib and crizotinib are two types of medicine used to treat patients with lung cancer and abnormal genes. Studies have shown that alectinib works better than crizotinib in terms of overall survival. However, it is not known if this will be the same when tumors of the spinal cord or brain are involved.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 303 patients with lung cancer and abnormal genes. The patients had never been treated with an ALK inhibitor before. Half the patients were treated with crizotinib, and the other half with alectinib. Of these patients, 22 had the cancer spread to the spinal cord or brain.
Overall, the patients who were treated with alectinib survived for longer without the cancer growing compared to those treated with crizotinib. The cancer on the brain or spinal cord took longer to grow in patients treated with alectinib compared to those treated with crizotinib. Overall, patients responded better to treatment with alectinib compared to treatment with crizotinib.
The bottom line
The study concluded that alectinib has better survival outcomes than crizotinib in patients with lung cancer and abnormal genes.
The fine print
This is a medium sized study. It is looking at data from a large study and breaking it down.
Discuss your treatment plan with your oncologist.
Published By :
Annals of oncology: official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology
Sep 12, 2018