(HealthDay News) — Among patients with previously untreated advanced ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), progression-free survival is significantly longer for those who receive first-line therapy with lorlatinib versus crizotinib, according to a study published in the Nov. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Alice T. Shaw, M.D., Ph.D., from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, and colleagues conducted a global, randomized, phase 3 trial comparing lorlatinib with crizotinib in 296 patients with advanced ALK-positive NSCLC who were previously untreated for metastatic disease.
The researchers found that 78 and 39 percent of patients in the lorlatinib group and crizotinib group, respectively, were alive without disease progression at 12 months (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.28). An objective response occurred in 76 and 58 percent of those in the lorlatinib and crizotinib groups, respectively. Among those with measurable brain metastases, an intracranial response occurred in 82 and 23 percent, respectively; an intracranial complete response occurred in 71 percent of those who received lorlatinib. Hyperlipidemia, edema, increased weight, peripheral neuropathy, and cognitive effects were the most common adverse events associated with lorlatinib. Compared with crizotinib, lorlatinib was associated with more grade 3 or 4 adverse events (mainly altered lipid levels; 72 versus 56 percent).
“Among patients with previously untreated, advanced ALK-positive NSCLC, those who received lorlatinib had significantly longer progression-free survival, a higher overall and intracranial response, and better quality of life than those who received crizotinib,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, which manufactures lorlatinib and funded the study.