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Stable disease is just fine, thank you.
Sat, 05/10/2008 - 14:36

Please Note: New Treatments Have Emerged Since this Original Post
Dr Laskin

At the 1st ESMO-IASLC Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva last week I saw a presentation that I thought would interest this general readership. The study, presented by Dr Grossi, from Italy, is a retrospective review of 61 patients with advanced NSCLC of all subtypes treated with either Tarceva (erlotinib) or Iressa (gefitinib) in the 1st or 2nd line setting. The groups were similar, remember this was not a randomized prospective study; the median age was 65 for those receiving Tarceva and 74 for those on Iressa. About 26% of the whole group were never/former smokers. They all were pretty physically fit (ECOG PS of 0 or 1), and most of them (55-58%) had adenocarcinoma. There were no complete responses and the rate of partial response was 6% and stable disease of 26% for the people on Tarceva and 13% partial response and 29% stable disease for those on Iressa. These figures, although low, are entirely in keeping with previous study results for both drugs given to unselected patient populations. What was interesting was that for the people who had a partial response the median survival was 9.7 months, but it was 9.1 months for those who had stable disease, and only 3.7 months for those who progressed on treatment. This was a trend noted in other studies and one I certainly see in my clinic, but it was reassuring to see it reproduced. And hopefully reassuring to anyone who might have “only” stable disease. Dare I say “size isn’t everything”?

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