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Study: A drug reduces the risk of dying in half from a type of lung cancer


It was found that a pill cut in half the risk of dying from a type of lung cancer when the patient took it daily after undergoing surgery to remove the cancerous tumor, according to the “amazing” results of clinical trials presented on Sunday.

The findings were announced at the premier annual conference for cancer professionals hosted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

About 1.8 million deaths

Lung cancer is the most deadly type of cancer in the world, with about 1.8 million deaths annually due to infection worldwide.

Osimertinib (sold as Tagriso) developed by the drug group AstraZeneca targets a specific type of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer that exhibits a specific type of mutation.

These mutations (epidermal growth factor receptor) affect 10 to 25% of lung cancer patients in the United States and Europe, and 30 to 40% in Asia.

The clinical trial involved 680 participants with early-stage disease (stages 1b to 3a) in more than 20 countries.

They first had to undergo surgery to remove the tumor, then half of the patients were given the treatment daily, while the other half took a placebo.

And it was found that those who took the treatment decreased their risk of death by 51% compared to patients who took the placebo. After five years, 88% of patients who took the treatment were still alive, compared to 7% of those who took a placebo.

Roy Herbst of Yale University, who presented the results in Chicago, said the data was “astonishing”.

He pointed out in a press conference that the drug helps “prevent the spread of the disease to the brain, liver and bones.”

He pointed out that surgery is possible for a third of non-small-cell lung cancer cases when the infection is diagnosed.

Originally sold

“It’s hard to say how important these findings are,” said Nathan Bennell of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, who was not involved in the study.

“We have entered the era of diagnosed treatments for patients in the early stages,” and “the page should be turned on the one treatment for all,” that is, chemotherapy.

Osimertinib is basically licensed in dozens of countries, and it was given to about 700,000 people, according to a statement by AstraZeneca.

And it was approved in the United States in 2020 based on previous data that showed an improvement in the survival of patients who had recovered from the disease, that is, the time they lived without recurring cancer.

Roy Herbst explained that not all doctors approved the treatment yet, and were awaiting data related to the global survival rate, which was presented on Sunday.

He stressed the need to “check patients” to see if they show a human growth factor receptor mutation, “otherwise it will be difficult to subject them to this new treatment.”

He explained that osimertinib, which targets the human growth factor receptor, causes side effects such as extreme tiredness, flushing of the skin or diarrhea.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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