Pfizer’s Lung Cancer Drug Shows Significant Progress in Treatment

Key Takeaways

• A recent study revealed that a drug called Lorbrena has shown impressive results in extending survival rates and halting the spread of lung cancer.
• Patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer who took Lorbrena had a 60% survival rate after five years, compared to only 8% of those treated with Xalkori.
• The CROWN study demonstrated the longest progression-free survival outcomes ever seen in non-small cell lung cancer patients.

Lung cancer is a prevalent and serious disease, responsible for a significant portion of cancer cases worldwide. Despite various treatment options available, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, survival rates for advanced lung cancer patients have been historically low.

However, Pfizer’s latest lung cancer drug, Lorbrena, has shown promising results in clinical trials. The drug effectively inhibits the progression of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer, a type of lung cancer caused by a genetic mutation in the ALK gene.

The study results from Pfizer’s CROWN trial are groundbreaking, with Lorbrena demonstrating a 94% reduction in the risk of brain tumor development in patients with ALK-positive lung cancer. This has led to unprecedented progression-free survival rates in these patients.

According to study coauthor Dr. Todd Bauer, patients on Lorbrena continue to benefit from the treatment even after five years, showcasing the drug’s effectiveness in combating cancer progression. Additionally, Lorbrena has been proven to be the only ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor with reported five-year progression-free survival rates.

Common side effects of Lorbrena, such as high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, can be managed with medications and lifestyle modifications. The drug has also shown effectiveness in preventing brain metastases, a significant complication in lung cancer patients.

Lorbrena is currently approved for adults with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer in the U.S. Patients should consult with their healthcare providers to determine if they are suitable candidates for this treatment.

Overall, Pfizer’s groundbreaking lung cancer drug, Lorbrena, offers new hope for patients battling this aggressive disease.

– Bray F, et al. Global cancer statistics 2022: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries.
– Solomon BJ, et al. Lorlatinib versus crizotinib in patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer: 5-year outcomes from the phase III CROWN study.
– Sullivan I, Planchard D. ALK inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer: the latest evidence and developments.

By Kayla Hui, MPH

Hui is a health writer with a master’s degree in public health. In 2020, she won a Pulitzer Center Fellowship to report on the mental health of Chinese immigrant truck drivers.