The investigational drug PF299804 (PF-299) improves progression-free survival compared with Tarceva® (erlotinib) among patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has progressed following treatment with chemotherapy. These results were recently presented at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers.

Tarceva is a targeted therapy that works by blocking a biological pathway referred to as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway. The EGFR pathway is involved in cell growth and replication. Tarceva may be used for treatment of NSCLC after failure of initial chemotherapy, and or as maintenance therapy. Maintenance therapy refers to treatment that is given after initial treatment but before cancer progression.

PF299804 is an agent still in clinical trials that is targeted against EGFR as well as two related receptors: HER2 and HER4. PF299804 binds irreversibly to its targets.

An international clinical trial was recently conducted to compare PF299804 to Tarceva among patients with NSCLC who had received prior chemotherapy and whose disease continued to progress. The trial included 188 patients; one group was treated with Tarceva and the other group was treated with PF29984.

  • The median duration of survival without progression of cancer was significantly improved in the PF299804 group (12.4 weeks) compared with the Tarceva group (8.3 weeks).
  • Overall survival was not significantly different between the two groups (9.6 months for the PF299804 group and 7.5 months for the Tarceva group).
  • 7 patients in PF299804 group and 3 in the Tarceva group discontinued therapy due to side effects.

PF299804 significantly improved time to cancer progression compared with Tarceva among patients with NSCLC who received prior chemotherapy. A Phase III clinical trial comparing PF299804 to Tarceva in this group of patients is underway.

Reference: Boyer M, Blackhall F, Barrios C, et al. Overall Survival (OS) Results of a randomized phase 2 trial of PF299804 versus erlotinib in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after failure of chemotherapy. Paper presented as a late-breaking abstract at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer. July 3-7, 2011. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Abstract O10.07.

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