AstraZeneca's push to expand use of lung cancer blockbuster fails in trial

Nov. 14, 2023

AstraZeneca revealed that its cancer blockbuster, Imfinzi, administered concurrently with chemoradiotherapy, failed to meet its main goal in a late-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) trial.

While Imfinzi administered sequentially after platinum-based chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is the established standard of care for unresectable stage 3 NSCLC, the PACIFIC-2 trial was initiated to evaluate concurrent Imfinzi administration with CRT. According to AstraZeneca, the aim was to address patients who progress or discontinue treatment during chemoradiotherapy and are therefore ineligible for the PACIFIC regimen.

However, PACIFIC-2 phase 3 trial did not achieve statistical significance for the primary endpoint of progression-free survival versus CRT alone for the treatment of patients with unresectable stage 3 NSCLC.

“Our goal with the PACIFIC-2 trial was to address a remaining unmet need for patients in this setting by introducing immunotherapy even earlier and concurrently administering Imfinzi with chemoradiotherapy. While today’s results did not reach statistical significance, we will learn from this trial and we remain committed to improving patient outcomes by expanding the benefit of immunotherapy to lung cancer patients across treatment settings,” said Susan Galbraith, Executive VP of Oncology R&D at AstraZeneca.

First approved in 2017 for use in bladder cancer, Imfinzi won the nod for treating stage 3 lung cancer patients who have already received chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment and whose disease had not spread a year later.

In 2023, AstraZeneca announced positive results for several phase 3 trials evaluating Imfinzi in various combinations, including in ovarian and endometrial cancers with Lynparza, gastric and gastroesophageal cancer and resectable NSCLC. AstraZeneca also has several ongoing trials focused on testing Imfinzi in early stages of lung cancer.