#ASCO21: AstraZeneca's PD-L1 Imfinzi tacks on 5-year survival data in NSCLC, which it's calling 'unprecedented'
Amid a sea of competitors in PD-(L)1, AstraZeneca has looked to outrun the big dogs in Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb with its Imfinzi. One way to differentiate? Long-term effect — and now AstraZeneca has five-year data in NSCLC it thinks can set its drug apart.
Imfinzi posted an overall survival rate of 43% for Stage III non-small cell lung cancer patients whose tumors can’t be removed five years after chemoradiation treatment, according to data from the Phase III PACIFIC study set to be released at this weekend’s #ASCO21.
The OS rate for patients who received Imfinzi was 10% higher than those who received placebo. Historically, just between 15% and 30% of patients in this group survive for 5 years after treatment, but the 43% mark is notable progress, Sarah Cannon Research Institute CSO David Spigel said in a press release.
Meanwhile, the progression-free survival rate for patients was 33% compared with 19% in the placebo group, AstraZeneca said.
“Moreover, three quarters of these patients had also not progressed in that time,” Spigel said. “This is a momentous achievement at the five-year landmark in this curative-intent setting.”
Lung cancer is responsible for 1 in 5 cancer deaths, AstraZeneca said. Between 80 and 85% of lung cancer patients have NSCLC, and a quarter of those patients are diagnosed at Stage III, which the majority of tumors cannot be removed with surgery. For patients in the PACIFIC Phase III trial, Imfinzi is the first new treatment available to patients.
The PACIFIC trial was conducted at 235 locations in 26 countries and involved 713 patients. Imfinzi is being tested in several different studies. Scientists hope that it could be used as a treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, biliary tract cancer (which is a form of liver cancer), cervical cancer and ovarian cancer, among others. As a part of its immunotherapy portfolio, AstraZeneca is working toward developing approaches that can use Imfinzi as a single treatment across a broad range of tumors.