Pfizer's Xalkori Treats Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Pfizer's phase 3 study of its anaplastic lymphoma kinase inhibitor, crizotinib, provides good news for patients with ALK-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Pfizer’s phase 3 study of its anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, crizotinib (Xalkori), provides good news for patients with ALK-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The study demonstrated that previously untreated patients with ALK-positive advanced NSCLC who took 250 mg of Xalkori twice daily saw prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) compared with patients using standard platinum-based chemotherapy regimens, according to a Pfizer press release. Specifically, patients taking Xalkori saw a PFS of 10.9 months, compared with PFS of 7 months among the standard chemotherapy regimen patients.

Xalkori also demonstrated an objective response rate (ORR) of 74% compared with the standard chemotherapy ORR of 45%, according to Pfizer.

More than 340 patients participated in the trial, with roughly half of the study population taking Xalkori and the other half receiving platinum doublet chemotherapy.

“This study showed that Xalkori was superior to standard platinum-based chemotherapy regimens in previously untreated patients with ALK-positive advanced NSCLC,” said lead author Benjamin Solomon, MD, PhD, of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, in a press release. “These data underscore the importance for all newly diagnosed patients to have their tumor tissue tested as early as possible for ALK gene rearrangements before determining the most appropriate treatment option.”

The most common side effects among patients taking Xalkori were vision disorder, diarrhea, nausea, and edema.