MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Among patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have not previously received an ALK inhibitor, progression-free survival is significantly longer in those who receive treatment with brigatinib versus crizotinib, according to a study published online Sept. 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

D. Ross Camidge, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Colorado Cancer Center in Aurora, and colleagues randomly assigned 275 patients with advanced ALK-positive NSCLC who had not previously received ALK inhibitors to receive 180 mg brigatinib once daily with a seven-day lead-in period at 90 mg or 250 mg crizotinib twice daily.

At the first interim analysis, the median follow-up was 11 months in the brigatinib group and 9.3 months in the crizotinib group. The researchers found that the rate of progression-free survival was higher with brigatinib compared with crizotinib (estimated 12-month progression-free survival, 67 percent versus 43 percent; hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.49). Furthermore, with brigatinib, the confirmed objective response rate was 71 percent versus 60 percent with crizotinib. The confirmed rate of intracranial response in patients with measurable lesions was 78 percent and 29 percent, respectively. There were no new safety concerns reported.

“Even with only nine to 11 months of follow-up, the safety and efficacy of brigatinib clearly support its use in the first-line setting,” Camidge said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies including Ariad Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures brigatinib and funded the study.

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