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Durvalumab combined with chemotherapy improves overall survival in patients with lung cancer

Adding immunotherapy in the form of durvalumab to chemotherapy improves overall survival in patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer, according to research presented at the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).

The research was presented by Dr. Luis Paz-Ares, from Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, H120-CNIO Lung Cancer Unit, Universidad Complutense and Ciberonc, in Madrid, Spain.

Extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer is defined as the stage during which the cancer has metastasised to other parts of the body, such as the liver or brain.

Average survival time after diagnosis is 10 months.

In the CASPIAN trial, Paz-Ares and the multi-center, international research team, randomised 537 previously untreated patients with extensive-stage lung cancer to receive either durvalumab plus 4 courses of etoposide-platinum (EP) chemotherapy, durvalumab plus tremelimumab plus EP for 4 cycles or up to 6 cycles of EP alone.

Data presented at the WLCC concerned to the durvalumab arm as compared to the control treatment.

Paz-Ares and his team found that patients in the immunotherapy arm of the trial achieved a median overall survival of 13 months compared to 10.3 months for the etoposide-platinum control group.

And, 33.9 percent of the patients who received durvalumab were alive at 18 months as compared to just 24.7 in the control arm of the trial.

"The addition of durvalumab to EP as first-line treatment for extensive-stage non-small cell lung cancer significantly improved overall survival (27% reduction in risk of death) versus a robust control arm that permitted up to 6 cycles of etoposide. Of note, this chemo-immunotherapy regimen offers flexibility in platinum choice (carboplatin or cisplatin), reflecting current clinical practice for this challenging disease," he said.

Source: International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

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