Adding Genentech’s Tecentriq (atezolizumab) to a combination of Avastin and chemotherapy led to lung cancer patients living 38 percent longer before their disease progressed or they died, a Phase 3 trial shows.
The study dealt with previously untreated advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC.
Another important finding was that the triple combination prevented twice as many patients’ cancer from progressing a year after treatment as the double combination. Genentech also makes Avastin. The chemotherapies used in the trial were carboplatin and paclitaxel.
Genetech presented the results of the IMpower150 (NCT02366143) trial at the European Society for Medical Oncology Immuno Oncology Congress in Geneva, Dec. 7-10.
The findings prompted the company to decide to seek regulatory approval of Tecentriq as a first-line lung cancer therapy.
“This Tecentriq study is the first positive Phase 3 combination trial that showed a cancer immunotherapy reduced the risk of the disease getting worse when used as an initial treatment in a broad group of people with advanced non-squamous NSCLC,” Dr. Sandra Horning, Genentech’s chief medical officer and head of its Global Product Development unit, said in a press release.
The trial’s main outcome measures were overall survival and progression-free survival, or the time it took for patients’ disease to progress. Progression-free survival was 8.3 months with Tecentriq and 6.8 months without it.
A year after the treatment, 37 percent of Tecentriq-treated patients who were still alive had experienced no disease progression, compared with 18 percent in the Avastin plus chemo group.
Patients’ treatment response rates were also higher in the Tecentriq group.
While the trial follow-up period has been too short for researchers to obtain a good handle on overall survival, the findings so far have been encouraging, they said. They will analyze survival statistics again in the first half of 2018.
Researchers said the patients in the trial had no mutations of ALK or EGFR genes. The team also looked at a subgroup of patients with a specific immune cell biomarker. Tecentriq was effective in both groups.
The triple combo’s safety was similar to that seen in previous trials of Tecentriq and other therapies.
“The IMpower150 study represents an important advance in lung cancer treatment, and we will submit these results to regulatory authorities around the world to potentially bring a new standard of care to people living with this disease as soon as possible,” Horning said.