Adding the new molecularly targeted agent bortezomib to a standard chemotherapy regimen prolonged survival in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, according to results of a national phase II trial led by UC Davis researchers.
Results of the study were reported at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Atlanta in June.
In the study, patients taking bortezomib plus gemcitabine and carboplatin survived a median of 11 months. In comparison, the longest median survival seen in past trials of platinum-based chemotherapy treatments for advanced non-small cell lung cancer was nine months.
"These survival results are among the best ever reported in patients with non-small cell lung cancer," said Angela Davies, assistant professor of hematology and oncology and lead author of the study. The study was conducted under the auspices of the Southwest Oncology Group.
Lung cancer is the nation's leading cause of cancer death. An estimated 174,470 people will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and 162,460 will die from it. Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for about 80 percent of lung cancer cases.