MUNICH— Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors are as effective in “real world” clinical use for treating patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who test positive for ALK gene rearrangements as they are in clinical studies—even though randomized trials “cherry pick” patients to get statistically valid results. This is the conclusion of a retrospective analysis of data reported at the 2018 annual congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO). http://22.214.171.124/slidecenter/esmo2018/attendee/confcal/session/calendar?q=jahanzeb
Progression free survival (PFS) was prolonged to a median of 7.4 months in the overall group of patients treated with ALK-targeted agents. “We were delighted to find out that these patients do as well as patients on clinical trials,” said author Mohammad Jahanzeb MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Hematology-Oncology and Medical Director of the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Deerfield Florida talking to the Audio Journal of Oncology. “Median progression free survival was in the same ball-park as we see in clinical trials.”
Jahanzeb said that prospective clinical trials excluded many real world patients who had comorbid conditions and factors such as brain metastases—which were often encountered among typical real-world patients. “So we thought it was really important to go to a database repository and do a “deep-dive” on the subset of patients positive for ALK,” he said, noting that half of these patients typically had brain metastases.