A mutation in the EGFR gene increases the survival rate in lung cancer patients. Three years after diagnosis, 28% of patients treated with osimertinib were still under treatment. Considerable numbers, if we consider the average survival rate of those suffering from this type of disease. The Flaura study analyzed the responses to osimertinib of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
The study focused on cases of locally advanced or metastatic cancer, focusing on subjects with a mutation in the EGFR gene. The mutation affects 30% -40% of Asian patients and 10% -15% of European patients. Subjects with the EGFR mutation were particularly sensitive to tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Inhibitors block cellular signaling pathways, preventing cancer cells from orienting their growth.
The drug osimertinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor and is based on this principle. Patients in the control group showed a median survival of approximately 31.8 months. Patients treated with the drug reached an average of 38.6 months. Furthermore, at 3 years only 9% of the control group patients were still in treatment. This demonstrates the efficacy of the drug in this specific type of advanced stage cancer, which affects only about 2,150 patients in Italy each year.