Long-term trial results show promise for Pfizer’s lung cancer drug

Pfizer has announced promising results from a late-stage trial of its drug Lorbrena for advanced lung cancer. The medicine has shown to help patients live longer without cancer progression for over five years, and also reduces the risk of brain progression. Lorbrena is specifically approved for patients with a mutation in the ALK gene, which affects about 5% of non-small cell lung cancer patients worldwide.

Despite being approved as a first-line treatment, Lorbrena is not widely considered the standard treatment for this type of lung cancer. However, Pfizer believes that the new five-year data will change that perception and establish Lorbrena as the go-to first-line treatment. The study showed that Lorbrena outperformed Pfizer’s older drug Xalkori, with significantly better results in terms of cancer progression and survival rates.

Dr. David Spigel, chief scientific officer at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, described the results as the best seen in terms of durable, progression-free survival events. Although there are no direct comparisons with other competing drugs, Spigel expressed confidence in Lorbrena’s performance against them.

One significant advantage of Lorbrena is its effectiveness in preventing brain metastases, which is a common issue in ALK-positive lung cancers. The drug was able to reduce the risk of brain progression by 94% compared to Xalkori. Additionally, Lorbrena can cross the blood-brain barrier, a feat not achieved by all drugs, making it effective in treating and preventing brain metastases.

While Lorbrena does have some common side effects like swelling and weight gain, Pfizer is confident in physicians’ ability to manage them effectively. Educating doctors on how to handle the specific side effects of Lorbrena will be a key focus in the drug’s relaunch following the new data release.

Overall, the positive long-term results of Lorbrena in the treatment of advanced lung cancer are promising for patients and healthcare providers alike. Pfizer’s commitment to advancing cancer treatment with innovative drugs like Lorbrena is a significant step forward in improving outcomes for those affected by this aggressive form of cancer.

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