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IMAGE: At ASCO 2018, D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD presents updated ALEX trial results. view more 

Credit: University of Colorado Cancer Center

Updated results of the global phase III ALEX trial comparing alectinib with crizotinib as first-line treatment against ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer show a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 34.8 months in 152 patients treated with alectinib versus 10.9 months in 151 patients treated with crizotinib.

“Think of it like a horse race, only it’s not about who crosses the finish line first, but how far the horses can run,” says D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, the Joyce Zeff Chair in Lung Cancer Research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, director of Thoracic Oncology at the CU School of Medicine, and the study’s first author. “In this trial, it’s as if half of the people ‘riding’ crizotinib had exhausted their horses at about 11 months. For patients on alectinib, when this trial first started reporting data last year, more than half were still on their horses, still running. Now enough time has elapsed to estimate the median performance of these alectinib ‘horses’ more accurately.”

Camidge’s analogy explains the results above: At 10.9 months half of the

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