In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out if the medication brigatinib (Alunbrig) is better than crizotinib (Xalkori) in treating patients with lung cancer. The study found that survival was significantly longer in patients who were treated with brigatinib compared to those treated with crizotinib.
Brigatinib and crizotinib are a type of medicine called ALK inhibitors. ALK is a type of gene that be abnormal in lung cancer. They are used to treat patients with lung cancer with abnormal genes. It is known that brigatinib works well in patients who did not respond to treatment with crizotinib. However, it is not known which medication works better when the patient has never been treated with any ALK inhibitor.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 275 patients with lung cancer. Of these, 137 received treatment with brigatinib. The remaining 138 were treated with crizotinib. They had never been treated with an ALK inhibitor before. The patients were followed for 12 months to see how they responded to treatment.
Overall, the patients who were treated with brigatinib went for longer without their cancer growing, compared to those treated with crizotinib. Of the patients treated with brigatinib, 71% responded to treatment. In comparison, 60% of those treated with crizotinib responded to treatment. There were no new issues noted regarding safety of either of these medications.
The bottom line
The study concluded that brigatinib works better than crizotinib in patients with lung cancer and abnormal genes who had not been treated with an ALK inhibitor before.
The fine print
This is a medium sized study. More studies should be done to confirm the findings.
Discuss your treatment plan with your oncologist.
Published By :
The New England Journal of Medicine
Sep 25, 2018