Lung Cancer Patients Get New Hope With Traceva

Lung cancer treatment with Tarceva

Roche’s Phase III study SATURN has shown great promise for lung cancer patients. The study shows an overall survival of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received Tarceva (erlotinib) immediately after their initial chemotherapy. The new data from the Phase III study SATURN will be presented during the 13th World Conference on Lung Cancer to be held July 31 - August 4, 2009 in San Francisco.

Tarceva is a well established treatment in second-line management of advanced non-small cell lung cancer after the failure of chemotherapy. “This study has now not only confirmed that immediate treatment with Tarceva after initial chemotherapy delayed the progression of disease, but also importantly helped patients in the study live longer,” said Professor Federico Cappuzzo, M.D., Istituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS, Milan and principal investigator of the SATURN study.


Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide with 1.5 million new cases annually. NSCLC accounts for almost 85%percent of those cases. Non-small cell lung cancer progresses rapidly with less than 5% of advanced NSCLC patients surviving for five years.

SATURN is a global multicentre, double blind, randomized, prospective phase III study involving more than 880 patients from approximately 160 canters. (438 received Tarceva and 451 placebo). The study has met its primary endpoint demonstrating that 41% of patients had a significant extension of the time without their disease worsening.

The most common adverse reactions in patients with non-small cell lung cancer receiving Tarceva monotherapy were rash and diarrhea. The most common adverse reactions in patients with pancreatic cancer receiving Tarceva plus gemcitabine were fatigue, rash, nausea, anorexia, and diarrhea.

Roche Media Release


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