In a nutshell
This study evaluated the effectiveness of osimertinib (Tagrisso) in patients over age 80 with advanced small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This study found that these elderly patients had similar outcomes to patients in clinical trials.
NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer. One common treatment is tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy. This type of treatment works inside cancer cells and blocks signals needed for tumors to grow. Unfortunately, many patients with NSCLC have a genetic mutation called T790M. This mutation makes cancer cells more resistant to TKI treatment.
Osmertinib is a new TKI that specifically targets the T790M mutation. Previous studies have shown that osmertinib is effective for patients with NSCLC that has this mutation. However, whether this drug is effective for patients older than age 80 is unclear.
Methods & findings
This study had 43 patients with advanced-stage NSCLC. All patients were at least 80 years old and had the T790 mutation. On average, patients were previously treated with 2 prior lines of therapy. In this study, all patients were treated with osmertinib.
After starting treatment with osmertinib, patients survived for an average of 22.8 months. Patients survived for an average of 17.5 months without tumor growth or spread.
After 12 months of treatment, 74.0% of patients were still alive. 65.1% of patients were still alive without tumor growth or spread. At 24 months, 44.5% of patients were still alive, with 23.1% of patients not having tumor growth or spread.
Overall, 51.4% of patients had tumor growth or spread. After disease progression, 36.8% of patients continued osimertinib treatment. 29.4% of patients had further treatment after osimertinib.
The bottom line
The study concluded that elderly patients with NSCLC had similar outcomes as patients treated with osimertinib in a clinical trial setting. The authors suggest that TKI therapy may be effective for these elderly patients.
The fine print
This was a very small study. This study was also retrospective. This means that it looked back in time to analyze data. More studies are needed to confirm the role of osmertinib in treating elderly patients over age 80 with NSCLC.
Published By :
May 22, 2019