ASCO 2015: Superior overall survival for afatinib compared to erlotinib demonstrated in head-to-head trial in patients with previously treated advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung

Sunday, May 31, 2015

RIDGEFIELD, Conn., May 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Boehringer Ingelheim today announced overall survival (OS) results from the LUX-Lung 8 trial (NCT01523587) that directly compared the efficacy and safety of two EGFR-directed treatments, afatinib and erlotinib, in patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung, progressing after treatment with first-line chemotherapy. Treatment with afatinib significantly reduced the risk of death by 19%, extending the survival of patients to a median of 7.9 months compared to 6.8 months on erlotinib. Significantly more patients treated with afatinib were still alive at one year compared to those treated with erlotinib (36.4 vs. 28.2%). The details of the OS analysis (abstract #8002; oral presentation on Sunday, May 31 from 8:24 – 8:36 a.m. CDT in N Hall B1) will be presented today at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The complete results from this study will be the basis for global regulatory submissions later this year. Afatinib is not approved for use in patients with SCC of the lung.

OS was the key secondary endpoint of this randomized Phase III head-to-head trial, and was analyzed following positive results for the primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS) presented in 2014.  The updated analysis of PFS confirmed a significant reduction in the risk of cancer progression by 19% in patients treated with afatinib compared with erlotinib. The delay in cancer progression seen with afatinib treatment was accompanied by improved control of cancer-related symptoms: a higher proportion of patients treated with afatinib reported improvement in cough (43.4 vs. 35.2%), shortness of breath (51.3 vs. 44.1%) and overall well-being/quality of life (35.7 vs. 28.3%) compared with erlotinib. 

LUX-Lung 8 clinical trial investigator Shirish Gadgeel, M.D., leader of the Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at the Karmanos Cancer Center, President of the Medical Executive Committee of the Karmanos Cancer Center, Detroit, commented: "In this study, afatinib showed superior overall survival compared to erlotinib, an accepted standard treatment for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. Furthermore, a significant delay in lung cancer progression was observed with afatinib, and patients reported improvement in cancer-related symptoms and overall quality of life."

The rate of severe adverse events was similar between afatinib and erlotinib treatment arms (57.1 vs. 57.5%). A higher incidence of severe diarrhea and stomatitis (mouth sores) was observed with afatinib compared to erlotinib (grade 3/4 diarrhea: 9.9/0.5 vs. 2.3/0.3%, grade 3 stomatitis: 4.1 vs. 0.0%), while a higher incidence of severe rash/acne was reported with erlotinib compared to afatinib (grade 3 rash/acne: 10.4 vs. 5.9%).  See abstract #8002 for full details.

Tunde Otulana, M.D., senior vice president, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim, commented: "With these positive overall survival results, we will pursue global regulatory submissions for the treatment of afatinib in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. We are proud to be conducting research on afatinib that may ultimately expand treatment options for patients with this devastating disease."

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common form of lung cancer comprising over 85% of lung cancer cases. SCC, a type of lung cancer which develops in the cells lining the airways, represents approximately 30% of NSCLC cases. Treatment options are limited and SCC of the lung is associated with a poor prognosis, with less than 5% of patients with advanced SCC surviving for five years or longer.

LUX-Lung 8 was conducted across 23 countries and is the first prospective trial to compare two different tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in patients with advanced SCC of the lung (n=795).

Afatinib is approved in more than 50 countries for the first-line treatment of distinct types of EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC (under the brand names: GIOTRIF® / GILOTRIF®). Approval of afatinib in this indication was based on the primary endpoint of PFS from the LUX-Lung 3 clinical trial where afatinib significantly delayed tumor growth when compared to standard chemotherapy. In addition, afatinib is the first treatment to show an OS benefit for patients with specific types of EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC compared to chemotherapy. A significant OS benefit was demonstrated independently in the LUX-Lung 3 and 6 trials for patients with the most common EGFR mutation (exon 19 deletions; del19) compared to chemotherapy.

About Gilotrif® (afatinib) tablets

GILOTRIF is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 19 deletions or exon 21 (L858R) substitution mutations as detected by an FDA-approved test.

Limitation of Use: Safety and efficacy of GILOTRIF have not been established in patients whose tumors have other EGFR mutations.

GILOTRIF is an oral, once-daily kinase inhibitor that is designed to irreversibly bind and inhibit the following receptors: EGFR (ErbB1), HER2 (ErbB2) and ErbB4.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

Diarrhea

  • Diarrhea has resulted in dehydration with or without renal impairment; some of these cases were fatal. In the pivotal study, diarrhea occurred in 96% of patients treated with GILOTRIF (n=229), of which 15% was Grade 3 in severity and occurred within the first 6 weeks. Renal impairment as a consequence of diarrhea occurred in 6.1% of patients treated with GILOTRIF, out of which 3 (1.3%) were Grade 3.
  • For patients who develop prolonged Grade 2 diarrhea lasting more than 48 hours or greater than or equal to Grade 3 diarrhea, withhold GILOTRIF until diarrhea resolves to Grade 1 or less, and resume GILOTRIF with appropriate dose reduction. Provide patients with an anti-diarrheal agent (e.g., loperamide) for self-administration at the onset of diarrhea and instruct patients to continue anti-diarrheal therapy until loose bowel movements cease for 12 hours.

Bullous and Exfoliative Skin Disorders

  • Grade 3 cutaneous reactions characterized by bullous, blistering, and exfoliating lesions occurred in 6 (0.15%) of the 3865 patients who received GILOTRIF across clinical trials. In the pivotal study, the overall incidence of cutaneous reactions consisting of rash, erythema, and acneiform rash was 90%, and the incidence of Grade 3 cutaneous reactions was 16%. In addition, the incidence of Grade 1-3 palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome was 7%. Discontinue GILOTRIF in patients who develop life-threatening bullous, blistering, or exfoliating lesions. For patients who develop prolonged Grade 2 cutaneous adverse reactions lasting more than 7 days, intolerable Grade 2, or Grade 3 cutaneous reactions, withhold GILOTRIF until the adverse reaction resolves to Grade 1 or less, and resume GILOTRIF with appropriate dose reduction.

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

  • ILD or ILD-like adverse reactions (e.g., lung infiltration, pneumonitis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or alveolitis allergic) occurred in 1.5% of the 3865 patients who received GILOTRIF across clinical trials; of these, 0.4% were fatal. The incidence of ILD appeared to be higher in patients of Asian ethnicity (2.1%) as compared to non-Asians (1.2%). In the pivotal study, the incidence of Grade >/=3 ILD was 1.3% and resulted in death in 1% of GILOTRIF-treated patients.
  • Withhold GILOTRIF during evaluation of patients with suspected ILD, and discontinue GILOTRIF in patients with confirmed ILD.

Hepatic Toxicity

  • In 3865 patients who received GILOTRIF across clinical trials, 10.1% had liver test abnormalities, of which 7 (0.18%) were fatal. In the pivotal study, liver test abnormalities of any grade occurred in 17.5% of the patients treated with GILOTRIF.
  • Obtain periodic liver testing in patients during treatment with GILOTRIF. Withhold GILOTRIF in patients who develop worsening of liver function. In patients who develop severe hepatic impairment while taking GILOTRIF, treatment should be discontinued.

Keratitis

  • Keratitis, characterized as acute or worsening eye inflammation, lacrimation, light sensitivity, blurred vision, eye pain, and/or red eye occurred in 0.8% of patients treated with GILOTRIF among 3865 patients across clinical trials. Keratitis was reported in 5 (2.2%) patients in the pivotal study, with Grade 3 in 1 (0.4%). Withhold GILOTRIF during evaluation of patients with suspected keratitis, and if diagnosis of ulcerative keratitis is confirmed, treatment with GILOTRIF should be interrupted or discontinued. If keratitis is diagnosed, the benefits and risks of continuing treatment should be carefully considered. GILOTRIF should be used with caution in patients with a history of keratitis, ulcerative keratitis, or severe dry eye. Contact lens use is also a risk factor for keratitis and ulceration.

Embryofetal Toxicity

  • GILOTRIF is Pregnancy Category D. Based on its mechanism of action; GILOTRIF can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.
  • Advise females of reproductive potential to use highly effective contraception during treatment, and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose of GILOTRIF. Advise patients to contact their healthcare provider if they become pregnant, or if pregnancy is suspected, while taking GILOTRIF.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

  • In GILOTRIF-treated patients (n=229) the most common adverse reactions in the pivotal study (>/=20% all grades & vs pemetrexed/cisplatin-treated patients (n=111)) were diarrhea (96% vs 23%), rash/dermatitis acneiform (90% vs 11%), stomatitis (71% vs 15%), paronychia (58% vs 0%), dry skin (31% vs 2%), decreased appetite (29% vs 55%), pruritus (21% vs 1%).
  • Serious adverse reactions were reported in 29% of patients treated with GILOTRIF.

    The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in patients treated with GILOTRIF were diarrhea (6.6%); vomiting (4.8%); and dyspnea, fatigue, and hypokalemia (1.7% each). Fatal adverse reactions in GILOTRIF-treated patients included pulmonary toxicity/ILD-like adverse reactions (1.3%), sepsis (0.43%), and pneumonia (0.43%).
  • More GILOTRIF-treated patients (2.2%; n=5) experienced ventricular dysfunction (defined as diastolic dysfunction, left ventricular dysfunction, or ventricular dilation; all < Grade 3) compared to chemotherapy-treated patients (0.9%; n=1).

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Effect of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) Inhibitors and Inducers

  • Concomitant taking of P-gp inhibitors (including but not limited to ritonavir, cyclosporine A, ketoconazole, itraconazole, erythromycin, verapamil, quinidine, tacrolimus, nelfinavir, saquinavir, and amiodarone) with GILOTRIF can increase exposure to afatinib.
  • Concomitant taking of P-gp inducers (including but not limited to rifampicin, carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, and St. John's wort) with GILOTRIF can decrease exposure to afatinib.

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

Nursing Mothers

  • It is not known whether afatinib is present in human milk. Because many drugs are present in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from GILOTRIF, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Renal Impairment

  • GILOTRIF has not been studied in patients with severely impaired renal function.

    Closely monitor patients with moderate (CLcr 30-59 mL/min) to severe (CLcr <30 mL/min) renal impairment and adjust GILOTRIF dose if not tolerated.

Hepatic Impairment

  • GILOTRIF has not been studied in patients with severe (Child Pugh C) hepatic impairment. Closely monitor patients with severe hepatic impairment and adjust GILOTRIF dose if not tolerated.

For full prescribing information, including patient information, please click here. You can also visit www.gilotrif.com or contact Boehringer Ingelheim's Medical and Technical Information (MTI) Unit at 1-800-542-6257

About Boehringer Ingelheim in Oncology

Building on scientific expertise and excellence in the fields of pulmonary and cardiovascular medicine, metabolic disease, neurology, virology and immunology, Boehringer Ingelheim has embarked on a major research program to discover and develop innovative cancer treatments. Working in close collaboration with the international scientific community and a number of the world's leading cancer centers, Boehringer Ingelheim's commitment to oncology is underpinned by using advances in science to develop a range of targeted therapies for various solid tumors and hematological cancers. The current focus of late-stage research includes compounds in three areas: signal transduction inhibition, angiogenesis inhibition and cell-cycle kinase inhibition. The company is also evaluating a robust and growing pipeline of early-stage oncology compounds in areas including growth/survival signaling, immunotherapy and epigenetics.

For information about participating in a Boehringer Ingelheim clinical trial, please visit www.bicancertrials.com or call 1.866.725.7110.

About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation.

Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, the company operates globally with 146 affiliates and more than 47,000 employees. Since its founding in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel treatments for human and veterinary medicine.

Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving lives and providing valuable services and support to patients and families.  Our employees create and engage in programs that strengthen our communities. To learn more about how we make more health for more people, visit our Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

In 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about $16.96 billion dollars (13.3 billion euros). R&D expenditure corresponds to 19.9 percent of its net sales.

For more information please visit www.us.boehringer-ingelheim.com, or follow us on Twitter @BoehringerUS.  

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SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim

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