According to a clinical study presented on Sunday in the United States, it is suitable for those suffering from the «non-small cell» tumor.

An effective pill for halve the risk of death by some types of lung cancer when taken daily after the tumor is removed, according to a clinical study presented Sunday in the United States. The research was unveiled in Chicago at the largest annual conference of cancer specialists.

Lung is the deadliest cancer, with approximately 1.8 million deaths each year worldwide. The treatment presented this Sunday, osimertinib, marketed under the name Tagrisso and developed by the astrazeneca Pharmaceutical Group, It is aimed at those who suffer from the so-called «non-small cell» cancer and who present a particular type of mutation.

These changes (on what is called the epidermal growth factor receptor or EGF receptor) 10 to 25% of patients with lung cancer in the United States and Europe, and between 30 and 40% in Asia.

almost 700 participants

The clinical trial included about 680 people who were transiting a early stage of the disease (stages 1b to 3a), in more than 20 countries. All had been operated first to remove the tumor. Half of the patients then took the daily treatment and the other a placebo.

Swallowing the tablet resulted in a 51% reduction in the risk of death for treated patients, compared with placebo. After five years, 88% of patients taking the treatment were still alive, compared with 78% of those taking placebo.

These data are «impressive,» Roy Herbst of Yale University, who presented the study in Chicago, said in a news release. The drug helps «prevent the disease from spreading to the brain, liver and bones,» he added at a press conference.

already marketed

«It’s hard for me to say How important are these results?«, Nathan Pennell, of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and unrelated to the study, commented at the press conference.

«We have entered the era of personalized therapies for early stage patients» of the disease, he said, and «we should be closing the door on undifferentiated treatment for everyone,» namely chemotherapy. Osimertinib has already been licensed in dozens of countries and has been administered to some 700,000 people, according to a statement from AstraZeneca Press.

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Its approval in the United States in 2020 was based on previous data, which showed an improvement in disease-free survival of patients, that is, the time lived without cancer recurrence.

But not all doctors have embraced the treatment and were awaiting overall survival data released Sunday, Roy Herbst explained. The oncologist stressed the need to «screen patients» to find out if they have the EGF receptor mutation.