A groundbreaking clinical trial has demonstrated that a daily pill developed by AstraZeneca significantly reduces deaths among early-stage lung cancer patients who have undergone surgery. The results, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that patients who took the Pill, known as Tagrisso, for three years experienced a 51% lower risk of death from the disease.
Involving 682 lung cancer patients from over 20 countries, the trial revealed that the Pill decreased the chance of death from lung cancer by 51% overall. Dr. Roy Herbst, the trial's principal investigator and deputy director at Yale Cancer Center, hailed the findings as a major step forward in lung cancer treatment, stating, "I think we're curing some patients. We are making significant advancements in lung cancer treatment, more than ever before."
The study focused on patients with early-stage lung cancer who had a mutation in an EGFR receptor, which contributes to cancer cell growth. This mutation is often found in Asia and Australia and is typically detected in individuals with little to no smoking history. Tagrisso acts as an "off" switch for the mutated receptor, preventing excessive cell division and multiplication.
The success of targeted treatments like Tagrisso has revolutionized lung cancer treatment, improving survival rates significantly, and may eventually be combined with chemotherapy for optimal results. The survival data from this trial is expected to lead to increased prescriptions of Tagrisso and wider insurance coverage for the drug. The researchers also emphasized that Tagrisso offers fewer major side effects than chemotherapy, making it a more tolerable treatment option for patients.
The researchers hope the compelling data will serve as a call to action for increased screenings and testing for EGFR mutations, leading to earlier detection and improved outcomes for lung cancer patients.
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