NEW YORK (AP) – Abraxis BioScience said data from a late-stage study in lung cancer patients showed its drug Abraxane worked better than Taxol when given in combination with a chemotherapy drug.
Abraxane is a chemotherapy agent that combines paclitaxel, also known by the brand name Taxol, with a naturally-occurring human blood protein called albumin that helps deliver the chemotherapy more directly to the tumor. Abraxis said patients receiving Abraxane, in combination with the chemotherapy drug carboplatin, had a 31 percent better response than patients who received Taxol and carboplatin – meeting the study’s main goal.
The study involved 1,052 patients receiving initial treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. Thirty-three percent of patients who got the Abraxane combination responded to treatment, versus 25 percent who received the Taxol combination.
Taxol was developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
In addition, patients with a highly difficult-to-treat subset of squamous cell carcinoma showed a 67 percent improvement with the Abraxane cocktail over those who received the Taxol combination. Abraxane said safety results were generally consistent with those of Taxol, though only 3 percent of patients on Abraxane suffered sensory neuropothy – tingling, numbness and pain in the hands and feet – versus 10 percent of patients on Taxol.
Difficult-to-treat, NSCLC accounts for about 85 percent of all lung cancer cases. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 159,000 deaths occur each year due to this cancer.
Abraxane is already approved as a breast cancer treatment.
Abraxis BioScience Inc., based in Los Angeles, announced the results Saturday and plans on presenting them Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.
Date: June 7, 2010
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