SMC accepts first-line treatment for lung cancer

pharmafile | January 19, 2022 | News story | Research and Development  

The SMC has accepted AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso (osimertinib) for use as monotherapy for the first-line treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations.

“Osimertinib is a third generation EGFR inhibitor that has demonstrated clear survival benefit in clinical trials when compared to the previous generation of these medicines,” Dr Brian Clark, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, said. “Getting access to this treatment is an important development for people living with advanced lung cancer in Scotland, as it provides them with a treatment option that has the potential to improve their outcomes and does not compromise quality of life.”

Results from the FLAURA Phase III trial showed a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in median overall survival in patients treated with osimertinib, versus gefitinib or erlotinib. Gefitinib and erlotinib were both previous standard-of-care treatments in this setting.

Osimertinib showed a statistically significant and clinically meaningful 52% reduction in the risk of central nervous system (CNS) disease progression at 18 months, increasing the time patients with CNS metastases lived without CNS disease progression or death. Patients with CNS lesions typically have poor outcomes.

Lung cancer accounts for a quarter of all cancer deaths in Scotland, with NSCLC being the most common form of the disease. Almost half of lung cancers (47%) in Scotland are diagnosed at a late stage (Stage IV), when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. AstraZeneca estimates that approximately 192 patients in Scotland with locally advanced or metastatic EGFRm NSCLC will be eligible for targeted therapy with osimertinib every year. 

Arun Krishna, Head of Oncology, AstraZeneca UK, said: “With almost half of all lung cancers in Scotland diagnosed at a late stage, there is a clear unmet need for additional effective treatment options. Osimertinib can significantly increase survival of patients with EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC, with a comparable safety profile to first generation EGFR TKIs. It’s fantastic news that patients in Scotland now have access to this product of British science.”

Ana Ovey

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