Pemetrexed maintenance therapy for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) improves overall and progression-free survival, according to a report in The Lancet.
The Eli Lilly drug was trialled as part of first-line treatment for patients who have received four cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy and not had disease progression.
Author Dr Chandra Belani concludes: “Pemetrexed maintenance therapy is well tolerated and offers significantly improved progression-free and overall survival, making it a new treatment option for patients with advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer who do not progress after initial induction therapy.”
The phase III study involved 663 patients with advanced NSCLC who had not progressed on four cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy.
They were randomly assigned pemetrexed (500 mg/m2, day 1) plus best supportive care (441 patients) or placebo plus care (222) in 21-day cycles until disease progression.
Primary endpoint was progression-free survival and secondary endpoint overall survival. Standard first-line platinum-based chemotherapy historically provides modest improvements in overall survival.
Copyright Press Association 2009