Estimates suggest that until the end of the year, lung cancer will be responsible for more than 150,000 deaths in the United States, with NSCLC representing 85 percent of all cancers.
Cyramza was tested in more than 1,200 patients suffering with NSCLC that saw their cancers worsened after or during first-line chemotherapy treatments. The study, published in The Lancet journal, was conducted as a part of a multi-year, phase 3 clinical trial that included UCLA researchers and several centers in 26 countries within 6 continents. This was a pioneer project that demonstrated Cyramza extended the survival of patients suffering with this particular type of cancer, that already received treatments.
Cyramza is an antibody targeting the extra-cellular domain of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), a protein with particular relevance in the formation of the blood vessels that supply cancer cells.
According to Dr. Edward Garon, head researcher at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, patients received the experimental drug combined with docetaxel, which is approved as a crucial second-line therapy for advanced NSCLC.
When a patient gets worse during the first phase of chemotherapy, the standard treatment includes a single drug (docetaxel); only about 10 percent of patients respond to it and survival rate is no longer than a few months. Researchers found that the period before disease aggravation was longer when patients were treated with cyramza and docetaxel together. The group of patients (23%) who responded to treatment, saw their tumors shrink and their median survival rate improve to 10 months.
”It is exciting to see that by adding ramucirumab (Cyramza) to docetaxel, patients were able to live longer than those who were treated with the standard approach. We are pleased to have access to a drug that lengthens survival time in a population of lung cancer patients who often have few treatment options,” Dr. Garon noted in a press release.
In the future, Dr. Garon and his team intend to evaluate cyramza in other combinations to discover new and more effective therapeutic combinations.