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Preliminary trials show promise for lung cancer pill



  • Lumakras, an oral pill made by Amgen, showed promising preliminary results for lung cancer patients.
  • Compared to chemotherapy patients, Lumakras patients showed better progression-free survival, which meant their cancers were less likely to get worse.
  • The pill showed promise for patients with severe lung cancer or patients with fewer, less promising treatment options.

Lung cancer is currently the third most common cancer in the United States.

Current available treatments include a variety of approved immunotherapies and chemotherapies, as well as surgery. But some patients have reported little improvement with the current treatments.

This week, Amgen presented preliminary results for Lumakras, their oral pill for lung cancer, at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress 2022. The results show promise for patients who have seen little improvement with other treatments.

Phase 3 clinical trials included patients who may have tried other treatments like immunotherapy. Patients with non-small cell lung cancer received intravenous chemotherapy (docetaxel) or Lumakras.

Overall, survival rates between Lumakras and chemotherapy patients did not show substantial differences. But Lumakras shows potential for patients with severe lung cancer and patients who have fewer treatment alternatives.

After one year, 25 percent of Lumakras patients had progression-free survival, which meant that the cancer did not worsen, compared to 10 percent of chemotherapy patients.

Lumakras also reduced the risk of death or disease progression by 34 percent, compared to docetaxel, according to a Reuters report. Lumakras patients also showed better objective response rate to the treatment at 28 percent, compared to 13 percent of chemotherapy patients.

When it came to side effects such as diarrhea or elevated liver enzymes, 33 percent of Lumakras patients experienced side effects, compared to 40 percent of chemotherapy patients.

The company is still conducting further tests involving safety tests and a combined treatment with immunotherapy.

Source: The Hill

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