Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) improves the outcomes of individuals with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) according to the results of a pivotal clinical trial presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2016 Annual Meeting this week.
Tecentriq is an agent that stimulates the immune system to recognize and mount an immune attack against cancer cells. It has already been approved for the treatment of bladder cancer and has demonstrated anti-cancer activity in metastatic breast cancer.
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. In the United States, NSCLC accounts for 75–80% of all lung cancers. Although progress has been made in recent years, the majority of patients with advanced stage lung cancer still die from their disease. New treatments are needed. Precision medicine continues to impact the lives of lung cancer patients with research into genomics and genetics leading to unprecedented progress in improving outcomes. Tailored treatments have emerged to match a person’s genetic makeup or a tumor’s genetic profile. As a result, patients with lung cancer now typically receive molecular testing that guides their physicians in determining which therapies are more likely to boost the chances of survival while limiting the potential for adverse effects. Results from studies evaluating immunomodulatory approaches using anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 antibodies have demonstrated promising results and are advancing the standard of care for lung cancer.
Tecentriq is a monoclonal antibody designed to target and bind to a protein called PD-L1 (programmed death-ligand 1), which is expressed on cancer cells and cancer-infiltrating immune cells. PD-L1 interacts with PD-1 and B7.1, both found on the surface of T cells, causing inhibition of T cells. By blocking this interaction, Tecentriq may enable the activation of T cells, restoring their ability to effectively detect and attack cancer cells.
In this study, 1,225 advanced or metastatic NSCLC patients whose disease had progressed following previous treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy were administered either Tecentriq or Taxotere® (docetaxel). Researchers reported that Tecentriq helped people live a median of 13.8 months, 4.2 months longer than those treated with Taxotere chemotherapy regardless of their levels of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression.
The FDA has already granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) for Tecentriq for the treatment of people with PD-L1 positive NSCLC whose disease has progressed during or after platinum-based chemotherapy (and appropriate targeted therapy for those with an EGFR mutation-positive or ALK-positive cancer).
Reference: Barlesi F, Park K, Ciardiello F, et al. Primary analysis from OAK, a randomized phase III study comparing atezolizumab with docetaxel in 2L/3L NSCLC. Proceedings from the annual meeting of the 2016 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESOM). (Abstract #LBA44) Oct. 9, 2016.
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