Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women.
AstraZeneca’s pill, Tagrisso, can reduce the risk of death among patients with a specific type of lung cancer by 51%, the pharmaceutical entity’s latest medical trial of the drug found.
In a press release, AstraZeneca said positive results appeared in its phase three trial of the drug on patients with non-small cell cancer. The pharmaceutical company said the drug “demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival”.
The result found that Tagrisso reduced the risk of death by 51% in treated patients compared to placebo patients. Five years later, 88% of those who took the pill were still alive in comparison to 78% of those who took the placebo.
The trial was conducted on 680 participants with early stages of lung cancer in more than 20 countries who had removed their tumours. The treatment is also used on those with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation.
“These highly anticipated overall survival results, with 88% of patients alive at five years, are a momentous achievement in the treatment of early-stage EGFR-mutated lung cancer,” Roy Herbst, Deputy Director and Chief of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center, said.
According to AstraZeneca, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women, with 2.2 million people diagnosed with the disease globally on an annual basis. Those with the cancer are often diagnosed when going for checkups for other conditions.
Most of those with removable tumours develop them again, despite undergoing chemotherapy.
The drug, first announced in 2020, has been used to treat nearly 700,000 patients worldwide and was approved in more than 100 countries. Some of its side effects include skin rashes, diarrhoea, and severe fatigue.