On Sunday, June 6, 2010, I presented “Phase II Trial of Personalized Chemotherapy In Stage IV NSCLC: Clinical Application of Functional Profiling in First-Line Therapy” (Abstract No. 7617; Citation: J. Clin Oncol 28:7s, 2010) at the 2010 ASCO Annual Meeting. Colleagues received the presentation very well, with hundreds of attendees examining the findings.
The data are very exciting. This trial of 29 patients with metastatic (Stage IV) NSCLC achieved a response that was twofold higher than the national average (62 vs. 31 percent: p=0.0003). More striking was the 50 percent improvement of median time to progression (9.5 months vs. 6 months). And most exciting of all, the very excellent survival data with a median overall survival of 22.3 months compared with the national average of 12 months.
The most interesting aspect of this study is the fact that we utilized the very same chemotherapy drugs that are available to all medical oncologists in the United States. The trial was limited to FDA approved, compendium listed agents with specific indications for NSCLC. As such, we did not apply new classes of drugs, yet doubled the response rate and median overall survival.
The implications of this are staggering, particularly when we consider the impact that targeted agents are having on cancer care. I will explore these implications in the next entry when I discuss such agents.