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Immunotherapy Drug Improves Survival, Lasting Responses for Extensive-Stage SCLC

Imfinzi (durvalumab) is the first immunotherapy to show improved survival and lasting responses for patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC), according to findings from the phase 3 CASPIAN trial.
BY Katie Kosko
PUBLISHED November 17, 2019
Imfinzi (durvalumab) is the first immunotherapy to show improved survival and lasting responses for patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC), according to findings from the phase 3 CASPIAN trial.

Extensive-stage SCLC is an aggressive lung tumor; usually, by the time a patient receives a diagnosis, the disease has spread to other parts of the body.

The trial was conducted in more than 200 centers across 22 countries and included more than 500 patients. It compared Imfinzi combined with standard-of-care chemotherapy (etoposide with either cisplatin or carboplatin) versus standard of care alone with the option of prophylactic cranial irradiation.

At 18 months, 33.9% of patients who got Imfinzi were still alive compared with 24.7% of those who received standard of care. The risk of death was reduced by 27%, with a median overall survival of 13 months for Imfinzi plus chemotherapy versus 10.3 months for standard of care.

Imfinzi is a human monoclonal antibody that blocks PD-L1, a protein that disguises cancer cells so they can hide from the immune system. By preventing the camouflage, the medication may allow the immune system to recognize and attack the cancer.

The immunotherapy/chemotherapy combination also showed a better progression-free survival rate at 12 months (17.5% versus 4.7%).
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