The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Tecentriq, in combination with carboplatin and etoposide for the first-line treatment of patients suffering from extensive-stage small cell lung cancer. Out of total lung cancers, about 10% to 15% consist of small cell lung cancer. When this type of cancer is found, it is generally at an advanced stage and thus, patients are not left with many treatment options. However, the SCLC treatments are advancing gradually and few new drugs have been approved to treat SCLC. One type of such drugs is Tecentriq. It works by blocking PD-L1, a type of protein on cancer cells that prevent the immune system from attacking them.
“Tecentriq is the first cancer immunotherapy approved for the initial treatment of extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC), which is especially difficult to treat,” said Sandra Horning, Roche’s chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development.
This FDA approval has been based on data from phase 3 IMpower133 Study which evaluated the efficacy of Tecentriq plus Chemotherapy v/s Chemotherapy alone. Roche’s Tecentriq has been hailed as the first potential option discovered in over two decades for SCLC treatments. The study had enrolled about 403 patients who were equally randomized to receive Tecentriq combined with carboplatin and etoposide in Arm A and then placebo combined with same in Arm B and control Arm.
After an average follow-up period of 14 months, the average survival was 12.3 months in the Tecentriq group when compared to 10.3 months in the placebo group. The study has also measured progression-free survival which was 5.2 months in Tecentriq group and 4.3 months in the placebo group. The progression-free survival is how long the patients lived without their cancer getting worse.
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