Study: Lilly drug keeps common lung cancer under control in elderly patients

Phase-3 trial finds patients older than 70 using Alimta reduce risk of NSCLC disease progression

INDIANAPOLIS — A drug made by Eli Lilly prevented the most common form of lung cancer from progressing in elderly patients when added to chemotherapy, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial.

Lilly released results of the 939-patient phase-3 "PARAMOUNT" study, which found that maintenance therapy with the injected drug Alimta (pemetrexed), added to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, reduced the risk of disease progression in patients ages 70 years and older with advanced nonsquamous no-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC.

In the study, patients were given Alimta or a placebo. Among the 92 patients ages 70 years and older, Alimta reduced the risk of disease progression by 65% compared with placebo. Among those younger than 70 years, the drug reduced disease progression by 31%.

Results from the analysis were presented at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm.

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