Alcensa Provides Longer Symptom Improvement than Xalkori in ALK-positive Cancer
by C.H. Weaver M.D. 8/22/2018
CancerConnect News: Alecensa (alectinib) provides longer symptom improvement than Xalkori (crizotinib) in ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to results presented at the European Lung Cancer Congress in in Geneva, Switzerland.1
About ALK + NSCLC
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and around the world, highlighting the importance of developing effective new approaches to treatment. Up to 7 percent of NSCLC’s have an abnormal version of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene. Lung cancers with this abnormality typically occur in non-smokers. The abnormal gene contributes to the growth and development of cancer cells. Xalkori and Alcensa are both ALK-inhibitors used to treat NSCLC in patients with a mutation of the ALK gene. About 12,500 Americans are diagnosed with ALK-positive NSCLC each year, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology,
The ALEX clinical trial was a head-to-head comparison of Alcensa versus the standard of care Xalkori in patients with ALK-positive NSCLC and the results have been previously published.3 Alcensa improved progression-free survival and prolonged the time to CNS progression compared to Xalkori. Alcensa had a better toxicity profile than Xalkori despite a longer duration of treatment.2
In addition to delaying the time to cancer progression, fewer patients in the Alcensa group reported a clinically meaningful worsening in treatment-related symptoms such as diarrhea, peripheral neuropathy, constipation, dysphagia, appetite loss, and nausea/vomiting.
The study authors concluded that “the improvement in survival combined with the patient-reported outcome data supports the use of Alcensa as a new standard of care in the frontline treatment of patients with ALK-positive lung cancer.”
- Abstract 138PD_PR “Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in ALEX: A phase III study of Alcensa (ALEC) vs Xalkori (CRIZ) in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)” presented by Maurice Pérol during the Poster Discussion session “Immunotherapy and next-generation TKIs: from second to frontline treatment” on Thursday 12 April, 07:45 to 09:00 (CEST) in Room A.
Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Volume 13, Issue 4, Supplement, April 2018.
- Peters S, Camidge DR, Shaw AT, et al. Alcensa versus Xalkori in Untreated ALK-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(9):829–838.