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Phase 3 Study Showed Erlotinib Improved Overall Survival When Used Immediately After Initial Chemotherapy
Treating patients immediately following first-line chemotherapy versus waiting for the cancer to grow or spread before giving additional treatment represents a new approach in advanced NSCLC.
“This study has now not only confirmed that immediate treatment with Tarceva after initial chemotherapy delayed the progression of disease, but also importantly helped patients in the study live longer,” said Professor Federico Cappuzzo, M.D., Istituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS, Milan and principal investigator of the SATURN study. “This is good news for doctors and their patients since advanced lung cancer is one of the most challenging cancers to treat and is often associated with a very short life expectancy.”
The overall survival data will be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for use of Tarceva as a first-line maintenance treatment for patients with advanced NSCLC that was submitted on March 17, 2009. The FDA Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) review date will be on or about January 18, 2010.
Additionally, Roche, OSI’s international collaborator for Tarceva, will submit the overall survival data to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) to support the application for use of Tarceva as a first-line maintenance treatment submitted in March 2009.
The U.S. and EU submissions were based on positive data from SATURN that were presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on May 31, 2009 in Orlando, Fla. SATURN met its primary endpoint and showed patients with advanced NSCLC who received Tarceva as a first-line maintenance treatment had a 41 percent improvement in the time they lived without the disease advancing (progression-free survival or PFS) compared to placebo (hazard ratio=0.71; 29 percent reduction in the risk of cancer progression or death). The safety results were consistent with what has been seen previously and there were no new or unexpected safety signals in the study. The most commonly reported adverse events in patients who received Tarceva were rash (49 percent, 213/438) and diarrhea (20 percent, 88/438).
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In 2009, approximately 159,000 Americans will die from the disease. Most people are diagnosed with advanced stage disease and only 15 percent survive five years.
SATURN is an international, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, Phase III study conducted by Roche that enrolled 889 patients with advanced NSCLC at approximately 160 sites worldwide. Patients were treated with four cycles of standard first-line platinum-based chemotherapy and were then randomized to Tarceva or placebo if the cancer did not progress. The primary endpoint of the study was progression-free survival in the overall population, as determined by investigators, and was defined as the length of time from randomization to disease progression or death from any cause. The co-primary endpoint was PFS in patients with EGFR-positive tumors by IHC. Secondary endpoints included overall survival, safety and an evaluation of exploratory biomarkers, including EGFR mutations and K-ras mutations.
Source: OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Genentech, Inc.