Imfinzi-Based Treatment Before, After Surgery May Significantly Improve Survival in Resectable NSCLC

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Patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer treated with Imfinzi plus chemo before surgery or as monotherapy after surgery demonstrated significant improvements to event-free survival compared with those treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery, study results show.

Patients with early-stage resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with Imfinzi (durvalumab) and chemotherapy before surgery and as a standalone therapy after surgery demonstrated a significant improvement in event-free survival compared to patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery, according to high-level results from a clinical trial.

In particular, Researchers conducting the phase 3 AEGEAN trial performed a high-level analysis of the available data, which demonstrated that immunotherapy with Imfinzi improved event-free survival, which is a measure of whether or not a treatment can prevent or delay complications of disease, according to a press release from AstraZeneca, the drug’s manufacturer.

Treatments that demonstrate event-free survival may then go on to be measured for progression-free survival (the time during and after treatment when a patient with cancer lives without disease worsening) or overall survival (the time when a patient with cancer is still alive) to measure whether a treatment should replace the current standard of care.

“Treating patients early with (Imfinzi) both before and after surgery delivers a significant and clinically meaningful benefit in resectable non-small cell lung cancer, where new options are urgently needed to offer patients the best chance of long-term survival,” said Dr. John V. Heymach, professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, in the release. “The AEGEAN results provide compelling evidence that this novel (Imfinzi) regimen can drive improved outcomes in this curative-intent setting.”

The specific patient population examined underwent surgery with a curative intent, meaning surgery is intended to remove all cancerous tissues and potentially leave patients free from cancer. Approximately 30% of patients diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer are diagnosed at an early stage, allowing for curative-intent surgery, yet only 65% of patients diagnosed at stage 2 survive five years past surgery, according to the release.

The AEGEAN trial included 802 patients with stage 2A through 3B resectable NSCLC who were randomly assigned either a fixed dose of Imfinzi plus chemotherapy or placebo plus chemotherapy before surgery, according to the release. This was followed by Imfinzi or placebo after surgery.

In addition, the findings demonstrated that Imfinzi was well-tolerated and showed no new side effects from previous trials.

“Patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer face unacceptably high rates of recurrence, despite treatment with chemotherapy and surgery,” said Susan Galbraith, executive vice president of Oncology R&D at AstraZeneca, in the release. “We have shown that adding Imfinzi both before and after surgery significantly increased the time patients live without recurrence or progression events. We will continue to follow patients for overall survival.”

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