A combination drug therapy for the treatment of lung cancer has begun phase II testing with approximately 60 patients experiencing progression or relapse of the disease, Boehringer Ingelheim announced recently.
The trial combines Giotrif (afatinib), which has been approved for patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma, and pembrolizumab, which is used in previously untreated patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
All of the patients in the study have progressed or relapsed on or after platinum-based chemotherapy.
"Bringing together two drugs, afatinib and pembrolizumab, which have each demonstrated meaningful activity and survival advantages in advanced stage squamous cell lung cancer patients, is an attractive strategy that needs to be further investigated as a treatment combination," Dr.
Benjamin Levy, clinical director at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Sidney Memorial Hospital in Washington, said. "The potential synergy in these agents will hopefully advance care and therapeutic options for this group of patients."
Researchers will examine tumor size decreases, determine the appropriate dosage of afatinib to use with a standard dose of pembrolizumab, and evaluate how well patients tolerate the combination therapy.
Boehringer is collaborating with Merck & Co. to conduct the phase II trial.
Combination therapy targets lung cancer
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