ASCO 2009: Novel Agent Shows Promise in Advanced NSCLC

Roxanne Nelson

June 2, 2009 (Orlando, Florida) — When combined with standard chemotherapy, a novel agent improves progression-free survival in patients with advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to research presented here at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 45th Annual Meeting.

The novel agent vandetanib (Zactima, AstraZeneca), which is still under development, is a once-daily oral inhibitor of epidermal growth-factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth-factor receptor (VEGFR). The manufacturer plans to file for regulatory approval in the United States in the near future.

Adding vandetanib to docetaxel resulted in a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival. The median progression-free survival time was 17.3 weeks in the vandetanib group and 14 weeks in the docetaxel-only group. Patients in the vandetanib group experienced a 21% reduction in disease progression, compared with the docetaxel-only group.

The agent is unique in that it is a dual inhibitor and targets both receptors, explained lead author Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, chief of thoracic medical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

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