In a nutshell
This study examined the safety and effectiveness of osimertinib (Tagrisso) compared to other targeted therapies for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The authors concluded that osimertinib improved patient survival.
NSCLC accounts for the majority of lung cancers. Some lung cancers have genetic changes known as mutations. One such mutation affects a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Lung cancers with EGFR changes are treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs).
Osimertinib is a relatively modern EGFR TKI. The outcomes of patients with advanced NSCLC treated with osimertinib compared to other EGFR TKIs remain under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study included 556 patients with NSCLC who were previously untreated. They were divided into two groups. One group received osimertinib while the comparison group received a different EGFR-TKI drug. The other EGFR-TKIs were gefitinib (Iressa) and erlotinib (Tarceva). Patients were followed up on average 35.8 months in the osimertinib group and 27 months in the other group.
The average overall survival was 38.6 months in the osimertinib group and 31.8 months in the comparison group. Patients in the osimertinib group were 20% more likely to have a longer survival compared to the other group.
While the osimertinib group was exposed to the drug for longer (average of 20.7 months vs 11.5 months in the comparison group) all drugs had similar safety. Side effects were noted in 42% of the osimertinib group and 47% of the comparison group.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that patients with advanced NSCLC on osimertinib survived for longer compared to other TKIs.
The fine print
This study was funded by AstraZeneca, the company that developed osimertinib.
Published By :
The New England Journal of Medicine
Nov 21, 2019