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Home Industry News BMS drug enhances overall survival in first-line treatment of advanced NSCLC in Merck KgGA study

BMS drug enhances overall survival in first-line treatment of advanced NSCLC in Merck KgGA study

2nd June 2008

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and ImClone Systems have announce positive results from a landmark phase III study of Erbitux (cetuximab) as a first-line treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The trial results show the addition of Erbitux to a platinum-based chemotherapy significantly increased the overall survival of patients in this group compared to the administration of platinum-based chemotherapy alone.

Improvements in survival were seen in patients in all histological subtypes, regardless of patient performance status, age groups, gender and smoking history.

The results of the Flex study, planned and conducted by Merck KGaA, were presented to the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Martin Birkhofer, vice-president of oncology global medical affairs at BMS, said: “Erbitux is now the first anti-epidermal growth factor receptor-targeted therapy to improve overall survival for the initial treatment of non-small cell lung cancer as well as the first monoclonal antibody to improve survival across all histological subtypes, when added to platinum-based chemotherapy.”

He added that this is the third tumour type where the compound has shown an improvement in survival.

In November 2007, BMS and ImClone Systems confirmed the significant improvement in overall survival in metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with Erbitux compared to existing chemotherapy agents.

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