Friday, September 19, 2014

Lilly drug improves survival in colorectal and gastric cancers, not breast cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 19, 2014 – Mixed results for Eli Lilly’s targeted drug CYRAMZA™ (ramucirumab) were published this week in a pair of studies, one showing a significant increase in overall survival for people with gastric (stomach) and colorectal cancers but no significant increase for patients with breast cancer.

Ramucirumab blocks VEGFR-2 (vascular endothelial growth factor) a protein important for the formation of blood vessels needed to support tumor growth. A number of these agents are being tested in a variety of solid tumor cancers.

In the unpublished RAISE study of over 1,000 patients with colorectal cancer a Lilly press release reported that adding CYRAMZA to a chemotherapy regimen improved overall survival to 5.2 months compared to 3.8 months for those given the chemo regimen alone. 

In the RAINBOW trial of 665 people with stomach cancers, patients receiving CYRAMZA and paclitaxel had an overall survival of 9.6 months compared to 7.4 months in the standard chemo group. It was published online in The Lancet Oncology.

Results in the ROSE/TRIO-12 trial of 1,144 patients with HER2 negative breast cancer published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed no significant improvement in overall or progression free survival. Overall survival was 27.3 months with ramucirumab compared to 27.2 months without it. Progression-free survival for the ramucirumab group was 9.5 months compared to 8.2 months without.

The FDA approved Cyramza™ for advanced or metastatic stomach cancers in April 2014.

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